Health Considerations for Youth and Young Adults
The human brain continues to develop and mature into the mid-twenties. Developing brains are especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of cannabis. Using cannabis often, particularly at younger ages, has been shown to change important parts of the brain that are responsible for attention, decision-making, learning, memory, and motivation. More research is needed to understand the long-term effects of cannabis on the brain; however, some studies suggest that these negative effects may last a long time.
Using cannabis often during youth is linked to:
Lower likelihood of graduating high school
Lower school performance
Challenges with working memory
Higher risk of developing cannabis use disorder which peaks during late adolescence and among people in their early 20s
Frequent use of high THC cannabis in youth is also linked to higher risk for developing psychosis or psychotic disorders later on in life. This is especially true for those with higher genetic risk for psychotic disorders, who start using cannabis earlier, and who use it more often.
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