What does weed do to the teenage brain?

Is Mother Nature’s miracle plant as harmless as most teens think? Maybe not. In fact, many early studies have shown the exact opposite. Scientists from Duke to Cambridge have uncovered a laundry list of troubling side effects.

Schizophrenia. Permanent IQ loss. Stunted brain growth.

Still, some people question this research. Claiming the studies need to go deeper. Look further. But who will be their guinea pigs?

Who’s going to risk their brains to find out once and for all what marijuana really does?

Don't be a lab rat.


You can’t escape the negative effects weed has on the teenage brain.

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Time Magazine
June 5, 2014

Legal Pot Might Make America’s Kids Stupider, Say Researchers

In the midst of the drumbeat toward legalization, it’s easy to forget that smoking pot isn’t great for you. Especially if you are a teenager.

A review of the research on the negative health affects of marijuana published today in the New England Journal of Medicine reports that smoking pot as a kid may have lasting impacts on intelligence and achievement.

For starters, smoking pot regularly from an early age is correlated with a lower IQ. The mechanism is not fully understood—experts…

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The brains of teen marijuana users show significant abnormalities.


1 in 6 teens who use marijuana will become addicted.

The Huffington Post

The number of IQ points that teen marijuana users may lose permanently.

National Public Radio

The brains of teens that smoke marijuana work abnormally hard to complete simple tasks.

University of Cincinatti

On average, chronic marijuana using teens have a one point lower GPA than those who don’t smoke.

National Public Radio

Marijuana smoke contains 50 to 70 percent more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than tobacco smoke.

Swedish Hospital

The brain develops until age 25.

National Public Radio

A genetic link may exist between cannabis use and schizophrenia.


Teens who smoke weed may be at a greater risk for anxiety and depression.

University of Chicago


Marijuana may increase your risk of stroke and heart attack.

LA Times

Harvard University
March 7, 2011

Teens who smoke pot at risk for later schizophrenia, psychosis

Teenagers and young adults who use marijuana may be messing with their heads in ways they don’t intend.

Evidence is mounting that regular marijuana use increases the chance that a teenager will develop psychosis, a pattern of unusual thoughts or perceptions, such as believing the television is transmitting secret messages. It also increases the risk of developing schizophrenia, a disabling brain disorder that not only causes psychosis, but also problems concentrating and loss of emotional expression.

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brain grid

Weed may actually shrink parts of the teenage brain.

NBC Health
December 15, 2013

Teen pot use could hurt brain and memory, new research suggests

Teenage pot smokers could be damaging brain structures critical to memory and reasoning, according to new research that found changes in the brains of heavy users.

Research released Monday in the journal Schizophrenia Bulletin showed the brains of young heavy marijuana users were altered in so-called sub-cortical regions — primitive structures that are part of the memory and reasoning circuits…

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Smoking. Vaping. The teenage brain can’t tell the difference.

CNN Health
April 16, 2014

Casual Marijuana Use May Damage Your Brain

If you thought smoking a joint occasionally was OK, a new study released Tuesday suggests you might want to reconsider.

The study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, is the first to link casual marijuana use to major changes in the brain. And according to the researchers, the degree of abnormalities is based on the number of joints you smoke in a week…

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i light-bulb light-bulb

Weed can drop a teen’s IQ from average to the bottom 30%. Are you good with 70% of the world being smarter than you?

hamster wheel
CBS News
August 27, 2012

Smoking Marijuana Regularly As A Teen May Lower IQ Scores As Adult

Teens who smoke marijuana frequently are more likely to experience a long-term drop in their IQ, according to a new study.

That could be a potential pitfall for millions of teens, given recent estimates show about one in 10 teens in grades nine through 12 smoke marijuana at least 20 times per month. The researchers however didn't find the same IQ dip for people who became frequent users of pot after 18, suggesting pot use is especially dangerous for the developing brain…

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Early studies show teen weed use causes memory loss.