The substances in cannabis are carried through the mother’s blood to her fetus during pregnancy. They are passed into the breast milk following birth. This can lead to health problems for the child.
Cannabis use during pregnancy can lead to lower birth weight. It has also been associated with longer-term developmental effects in children and adolescents, such as:
Research shows the brain is not fully developed until around age 25. Thus, youth are especially vulnerable to the effects of cannabis on brain development and function. The THC in cannabis affects the same biological system in the brain that directs brain development.
Cannabis use has been associated with increased risk of harms when it:
In some people, cannabis use increases the risk of developing mental illnesses such as psychosis or schizophrenia, especially those who:
Frequent cannabis use has also been associated with an increased risk of:
Effects of cannabis on the body can include:
Effects of smoking cannabis are similar to the effects of smoking tobacco and can include risks to lung health, such as:
Effects of cannabis on the brain can include an increased risk of addiction and harm to your:
These effects appear to be worse for youth who start using early, and those who use cannabis frequently and over a long period of time. Effects may not be fully reversible when cannabis use stops.