There is research to suggest that marijuana exposure during adolescence is riskier than adult exposure since the brain is still developing. In fact, although dependence on marijuana is relatively low compared to tobacco, adolescents have much higher rates of dependence to marijuana than adult users.
Marijuana use in adolescence or early adulthood can have a serious impact on a teen’s life. Decline in school performance. Students who smoke marijuana may get lower grades and may more likely to drop out of high school than their peers who do not use.
Increased risk of mental health issues. Marijuana use has been linked to a range of mental health problems in teens such as depression or anxiety. Psychosis has also been seen in teens at higher risk like those with a family history.
Impaired driving. Driving while impaired by any substance, including marijuana, is dangerous. Marijuana negatively affects a number of skills required for safe driving, such as reaction time, coordination, and concentration.
Potential for addiction. Research shows that about 1in 6 teens who repeatedly use marijuana can become addicted, which means that they may make unsuccessful efforts to quit using marijuana or may give up important activities with friends and family in favor of using marijuana.
The teen years are a time of rapid growth, exploration, and onset of risk taking. Taking risks with new behaviors provides kids and teens the opportunity to test their skills and abilities and discover who they are. But, some risk behaviors—such as using marijuana—can have harmful and long-lasting e ects on a teen’s health and well-being.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), High School Youth Risk Behavior Survey Data. 2016 [cited 2016 November 16, 2016]; Available from: http://nccd.cdc.gov/ youthonline/