health effects of Using Retail Marijuana Before Age 21

We still have a lot to learn about the physical, emotional and mental consequences of underage marijuana use, but what we do know is that young adult’s brains are still developing until their mid-20s. Using marijuana before the brain is fully developed can cause lasting damage. It’s important for you to learn some of the negative health impacts so that you can help young people understand the risks they could be taking by using marijuana.


Athletic Performance

Marijuana smoke has many of the same chemicals as tobacco smoke, which are not healthy for lungs. Marijuana can impact a teen's ability to learn new skills, even weeks after they last used. Marijuana can also affect athletic performance and coordination.

Learning & Memory

Youth who use marijuana regularly are more likely to have difficulty learning, memory issues, and lower math and reading scores. The more marijuana youth use, the harder it may be for them to learn. And the effects can last weeks after quitting.


Brain development is not complete until age 25. For the best chance to reach their full potential, youth should not use marijuana.



Marijuana is addictive. It’s harder to stop using marijuana if you start at a young age. Youth who start using marijuana, alcohol or other drugs — even occasionally — may be more likely to continue using later in life.