Adolescents and Young Adults

  • Long-term cannabis use can have permanent effects on the developing brains of adolescents and young adults5.

What you need to know about cannabis and adolescents

  • Studies have shown that if an adolescent uses cannabis before the age of 16 and for a prolonged period, it can lead to a number of significant health problems.
  • Teen cannabis users are more likely to become addicted to cannabis than people who start using the drug when they are older6-9.
  • Cannabis use can negatively affect adolescents’ and young adults’ health and well-being, including their school performance, education level, social lives, and future employment and income.

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References

  1. National Academies of Sciences E, and Medicine,. The health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids: Current state of evidence and recommendations for research. Washington, DC2017.
  2. Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2016). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. SMA 16-4984, NSDUH Series H-51). Retrieved from http://www.samhsa.gov/data/.
  3. Moir D, Rickert WS, Levasseur G, et al. A comparison of mainstream and sidestream marijuana and tobacco cigarette smoke produced under two machine smoking conditions. Chem Res Toxicol. 2008;21(2):494-502.
  4. Garry A, Rigourd V, Amirouche A, Fauroux V, Aubry S, Serreau R. Cannabis and breastfeeding. J Toxicol. 2009;2009:596149.
  5. Lisdahl KM, Gilbart ER, Wright NE, Shollenbarger S. Dare to delay? The impacts of adolescent alcohol and marijuana use onset on cognition, brain structure, and function. Front Psychiatry. 2013;4:53.
  6. Behrendt S, Beesdo-Baum K, Hofler M, et al. The relevance of age at first alcohol and nicotine use for initiation of cannabis use and progression to cannabis use disorders. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2012;123(1-3):48-56.
  7. Chen CY, O’Brien MS, Anthony JC. Who becomes cannabis dependent soon after onset of use? Epidemiological evidence from the United States: 2000-2001. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2005;79(1):11-22.
  8. Perkonigg A, Goodwin RD, Fiedler A, et al. The natural course of cannabis use, abuse and dependence during the first decades of life. Addiction. 2008;103(3):439-449; discussion 450-431.
  9. Silins E, Horwood LJ, Patton GC, et al. Young adult sequelae of adolescent cannabis use: an integrative analysis. Lancet Psychiatry. 2014;1(4):286-293.
  10. Hartman RL, Brown TL, Milavetz G, et al. Cannabis effects on driving lateral control with and without alcohol. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2015;154:25-37.
  11. Hartman RL, Huestis MA. Cannabis effects on driving skills. Clin Chem. 2013;59(3):478-492.
  12. Lenne MG, Dietze PM, Triggs TJ, Walmsley S, Murphy B, Redman JR. The effects of cannabis and alcohol on simulated arterial driving: Influences of driving experience and task demand. Accid Anal Prev. 2010;42(3):859-866.
  13. Aronow WS, Cassidy J. Effect of marihuana and placebo-marihuana smoking on angina pectoris. N Engl J Med. 1974;291(2):65-67.
  14. Mittleman MA, Lewis RA, Maclure M, Sherwood JB, Muller JE. Triggering myocardial infarction by marijuana. Circulation. 2001;103(23):2805-2809.
  15. Sidney S. Cardiovascular consequences of marijuana use. J Clin Pharmacol. 2002;42(11 Suppl):64S-70S.
  16. Hall W, Degenhardt L. Adverse health effects of non-medical cannabis use. Lancet. 2009;374(9698):1383-1391.
  17. Lopez-Quintero C, Perez de los Cobos J, Hasin DS, et al. Probability and predictors of transition from first use to dependence on nicotine, alcohol, cannabis, and cocaine: results of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC). Drug Alcohol Depend. 2011;115(1-2):120-130.