Marijuana Risks (With Quiz)

Many youth today do not consider marijuana use a risky behavior. However, marijuana use comes with real risks that can impact a young person’s health and life.

Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

parent talking to teenage son

Today’s marijuana is stronger than ever before. In fact, the concentration of THC in marijuana has tripled in the last few decades.

Marijuana Risks

Addiction: People can and do become addicted to marijuana. Approximately 1 in 10 people who use marijuana will become addicted. When they start before age 18, the rate of addiction rises to 1 in 6.

Brain Health: Marijuana can cause permanent IQ loss of as much as 8 points when people start using it at a young age. These IQ points do not come back, even after quitting marijuana.

Mental Health: Studies link marijuana use to depression, anxiety, suicide planning, and psychotic episodes. It is not known, however, if marijuana use is the cause of these conditions.

Athletic Performance: Research shows that marijuana affects timing, movement, and coordination, which can harm athletic performance.

Daily life: Using marijuana can affect performance and how well youth do in life. Research shows that people who use marijuana are more likely to have relationship problems, worse educational outcomes, lower career achievement, and reduced life satisfaction.

Quiz and information adapted from

What is Your Marijuana IQ?

How much do you really want to know about the risks of marijuana? You might be surprised.

Take this quiz adapted from SAMHSA's Marijuana IQ Quiz with your child and discuss the risks together.

Out of every 10 people who use marijuana, how many will become addicted?

Which word ISN’T a slang term for marijuana?

Can marijuana erase IQ points? (Think carefully!)

The concentration of THC in marijuana has tripled in the last few decades. What does THC stand for?

What problems can marijuana cause during pregnancy?

If a new mom uses marijuana after birth, can it affect her baby?

Edibles are a safe way to use marijuana, right?

What could tip the cops off to a high driver?

Your state has okayed marijuana in certain forms. Does that mean it’s legal?

Using marijuana can lower the chance that you will:

Because marijuana is a natural herb, it doesn’t have health risks.

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