Smoked marijuana is not an FDA-approved medicine and can have a negative impact on your health.

The American Journal of Psychiatry reports that regular marijuana use in adolescence may significantly increase the risk of experiencing persistent subclinical symptoms of psychosis. Marijuana also deposits four times the amount of tar into the lungs that tobacco does.

Regular marijuana users have a 40 percent chance of becoming addicted, or two out of every five users. Research also shows that the earlier marijuana use begins, the more likely the user will become addicted to other drugs later in life.

The psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, THC, has increased almost six-fold in average potency in the past thirty years.

Only one in five adolescents consider marijuana to be a risk to their health. A particularly potent form of marijuana called marijuana concentrate, or oil is increasing in popularity. It is odorless, easily mixed with other products and could contain toxic chemicals. Its THC content ranges from 40 percent to 80 percent of the product.

Emergency room mentions for marijuana use now exceed those for heroin and are continuing to rise.

Every parent fears their child using heroin. Do you have the same fear of marijuana? In Colorado, marijuana-related poisonings have increased for the total population by 148 percent since legalization, according to the Rocky Mountain HIDTA.

There are additional risks besides poisoning: marijuana compromises judgment, resulting in risky behaviors, including experimentation with other illegal drugs. For instance, research has shown that the risk for using cocaine is much higher among marijuana users.

Marijuana contains 50 percent more carcinogens than tobacco smoke.

  • Over the last few decades, we’ve witnessed a drastic reduction in the number of tobacco smokers. Yet, despite an even higher cancer risk connected with marijuana use, its popularity is increasing.
  • In addition, marijuana users exhibit some of the same health problems associated with tobacco smoking, such as a daily cough and an increased risk for respiratory infections.

Marijuana use negatively affects attention span, memory, learning and intelligence.

Marijuana can cause permanent brain damage and negatively affects the still-developing adolescent brain. The shortened attention span, decreased recall and decline in ability to retain new information that results from marijuana use severely inhibit teens’ ability to succeed academically.

Marijuana use increases the risk of serious mental health symptoms.

Research shows that adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 who use marijuana on a weekly basis are three times more likely to have suicidal thoughts when compared with those who do not use marijuana.