• The active chemical in marijuana, THC, looks similar to anandamide, a natural brain chemical that shapes how brain cells grow and connect to each other and helps the brain monitor and regulate itself.
  • THC is a look-a-like imposter that fits into the same receptor sites as anandamide. THC causes a much stronger, longer effect on brain cells than anandamide and interferes with anandamide’s ability do its job.
  • Marijuana has powerful effects on the brain's reward system, and also on motor coordination, vision, memory, sensation, movement, and judgment.
  • Like alcohol, marijuana impairs driving, and its effects last longer.
  • People tend to believe that marijuana is not addictive because it does not produce strong physical symptoms of withdrawal.
  • Marijuana can be highly addictive for teens.
  • More 15- to 17-year-olds are in treatment for marijuana addiction than for all other drugs combined.
  • Many scientific studies show that starting regular marijuana use early greatly increases the risk of developing major depression, an anxiety disorder, or psychosis.
  • Smoking marijuana regularly causes a fivefold increase in the risk of having depression or an anxiety disorder.
  • Smoking marijuana more than 50 times increases your risk of developing psychotic disorders, like schizophrenia, almost sevenfold.
  • If you have a family member with mental illness, the risk is even greater and symptoms often appear earlier.