Marijuana: Not As Harmless As You Think

marijuana factsRecently marijuana has been approved for medical use in more than 20 states and its recreational use has even been legalized in Colorado and Washington. Although attitudes seem to be changing about whether or not marijuana is legal, the fact remains marijuana use is associated with health and developmental risks for both adults and teens.

Marijuana is particularly harmful to the still developing brains of young people. It is connected to changes in adolescent brain development resulting in learning, memory problems and IQ loss.

  • Smoking marijuana can damage the brain of a developing embryo as early as two weeks after conception.
  • Marijuana smoke contains 50-70% more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than tobacco smoke.
  • Marijuana use increases the risk of psychosis.
  • Marijuana use may cause bronchitis and lung complications.
  • There is a possibility that street marijuana is laced with other dangerous substances, such as: cocaine, crack, PCP or even embalming fluid.

Marijuana Fast Facts

  • Also referred to as pot, weed, herb, Mary Jane, bud, grass and reefer, marijuana is a greenish-gray mixture of dried, shredded leaves, stems and flowers of the hemp plant called Cannabis sativa.
  • Marijuana’s active ingredient is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
  • Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in America with 17.4 million past-month users and used by 76.8% of current illicit drug users. (NSDUH)
  • New growing and harvesting techniques produce marijuana that is about 275% more potent than it was just 10 years ago.

  • Limited evidence suggests that a user’s risk of heart attack more than quadruples in the first hour after smoking marijuana.


For more information on the effects of Marijuana use visit

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