Brains Matter: Marijuana Affects Developing Brains
Did you know that adolescent brain development continues until about age 25? Using marijuana before age 25 affects brain development and puts youth at greater risk for dependency later in life.
How? The active ingredient in marijuana "THC" interferes with normal brain function and adversely affects adolescent brain development. Developing brains are at greater risk for substance use addiction because marijuana alters the brain's reward system. Long term use can cause permanent damage to the hippocampus leading to memory and cognitive damage. Using marijuana impacts the prefrontal cortex, worsens depression and can lead to more serious mental health issues later in life.
NIDA's Dr. Volkow Discusses Marijuana's Effects on the Brain, Body, & Behvaior