Marijuana is now legal in some areas of the U.S. What is the impact of taking marijuana for the teenager or young adult with ADHD?
In a December 2012 news release, Nora Volkow, M.D., director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) had this to say: "We are increasingly concerned that regular or daily use of marijuana is robbing many young people of their potential to achieve and excel in school or other aspects of life...THC, a key ingredient in marijuana, alters the ability of the hippocampus, a brain area related to learning and memory, to communicate effectively with other brain regions. In addition, we know from recent research that marijuana use that begins during adolescence can lower IQ and impair other measures of mental function into adulthood."
Thus, as far as we know, there is no scientific evidence that indicates smoking marijuana is helpful, and in fact, it can be harmful. Research indicates that there can be serious side-effects from THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) -- the main psychoactive chemical in marijuana -- for adolescents and young adults whose brains are still developing and maturing. For more information, please see this news release (referenced above) from NIDA. For a more complete overview of marijuana's impact on health, see NIDA's DrugFacts: Marijuana information sheet.