Plasma concentrations of luteinizing hormone, testosterone, and cortisol were significantly higher in the marijuana addicted boys, but levels of growth hormone were significantly lower.
More than 6% of 8th graders and 21% of 12th graders reported using marijuana within the past month, the survey found, and about 1% and 6% of 8th and 12th graders, respectively, said they used the drug daily.
— Study adds to evidence for developmental abnormalities with teen marijuana use
Study participants who were described as “marijuana addicts” during boyhood were on average 4.6 inches shorter and 4 kg lighter at age 20 than nonsmokers, reported lead investigator Syed Shakeel Raza Rizvi, PhD, and colleagues at the PMAS-Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi, in a presentation at the European Congress of Endocrinology in Dublin.
Boys who smoked marijuana heavily were significantly smaller than their peers by the end of their adolescent growth phase, according to a study conducted in Pakistan.
In the U.S., marijuana is the most popular drug among young people, with 11.7% of 8 th graders and 35.1% of 12 th graders reporting having used it within the past year, according to a 2014 survey from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
At the moment, there’s not enough research to say for sure if smoking marijuana is any more helpful than taking THC or other cannabinoids as a pill. Scientists are still studying this.
Here are a few ways marijuana use could affect you:
Fertility issues. Animal studies suggest that using a lot of marijuana might be linked to decreased sperm count in men and delayed ovulation in women. Pregnant women who use marijuana might be more likely to have babies with developmental and behavioral problems.
Criminal charges. Marijuana laws can be confusing. Some states are changing their laws to make it legal to have small amounts of marijuana in some situations (like when it’s prescribed for medical use). Some have even made recreational use of marijuana by adults (over 21) legal. But there are conflicting federal laws against using, growing, or selling marijuana — and people caught with it could face charges, including jail time.
Medical Use of Marijuana
There is also “synthetic marijuana” — manmade drugs that are chemically similar to THC — that can be dangerously strong. Names for these drugs include “K2,” “Spice,” and “Herbal Incense.” They can be so potent that overdose deaths have happened.
Marijuana can be addictive. About 1 in 10 people who use the drug regularly can develop a “marijuana use disorder.” These people can’t stop using marijuana even though it causing problems in their lives. This is much more likely to happen in people who start using marijuana before age 18.
Respiratory problems. People who smoke marijuana a lot can develop problems with the respiratory system — like more mucus, a chronic cough, and bronchitis.
Emotional problems. People who use a lot of marijuana are more likely to say they notice signs of depression or anxiety. If someone has a condition like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, marijuana can sometimes make symptoms worse.
Changes in the brain. Marijuana can affect the parts of the brain that play a role in our ability to remember, multitask, and pay attention.