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Addiction and Substance Abuse

Marijuana Facts for Teens

You may have heard it called pot, weed, grass or dope, but marijuana by any other name is still a dangerous drug.

Marijuana is dangerous to your health. It makes you cough and catch colds more often. It can make your heart race and cause panic attacks. It can give you high blood pressure and memory problems. It's even worse for your lungs than tobacco.

Marijuana can mess up your future. It can make learning difficult and cause you to make bad decisions. It makes you not want to do the things you usually do. It can get in the way of goals like doing well in school or sports.

Marijuana is illegal. You can be arrested and go to jail for using, buying or selling marijuana. You can also be expelled from school. Being caught with marijuana will hurt your chances of getting a job in the future.

Marijuana is not always what it seems. Sometimes marijuana has other dangerous drugs added to it before it's sold. "Blunts" (cigars filled with marijuana) sometimes have crack cocaine or embalming fluid added to them.

You can get hooked on marijuana. Once you start, you may find it hard to stop. The more marijuana you smoke, the more you will need to get high.

Marijuana won't solve your problems. It will only make them worse. If you need help with your problems, talk to an adult you can trust.

Marijuana can make you do stupid things. It makes you lose self-control so you do things you normally wouldn't do. It makes it hard to think clearly and make good decisions. It makes you more likely to do other risky things, like having unsafe sex.

Everyone isn't doing it! It may seem that way sometimes, but it's not true. Most kids (86 out of 100) between 12 and 17 years old have never even tried marijuana.

This material was developed by the TRUE Family Program, Department of Family Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, and adapted for use on NetWellness with permission, 2011.

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Last Reviewed: Jun 16, 2011

Sybil K Marsh, MD, MA Sybil K Marsh, MD, MA
Associate Professor of Family Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University