Weed and college students: Weighing the pros and cons

The infamous green plant is growing in popularity, but what are the impacts of this? 

Weed. 420. Marijuana. Pot. Mary Jane. Whatever you call it, you probably have some experience and opinion on the infamous green plant. The plant can have different impacts on people. Not everyone has the same experience. A person’s experience and its intensity are determined by terpenes, a chemical compound that influences the effects, the method of consumption, and even genetics.   

In a study from the National Institutes of Health, Marijuana use at a historic high among college-aged adults, they reported that in 2020 the demographic with the highest use is young adults between 18 and 25 years old. Rates reached an all-time high in 2020 with 44% of college students reporting that they used marijuana. With such a large portion of young adults using marijuana, what are some of the benefits and consequences?  

A study published study in the National Library of Medicine, The Academic Consequences of Marijuana Use during College, reported lower GPAs, frequent skipping classes, and memory or changes in information processing in those using marijuana. 

Marijuana use has been linked to mental health problems like depression, anxiety, psychosis, and lung cancer. In Marijuana use and risk of lung cancer: a 40-year cohort study it was found that there is an obvious impact on your lungs and an increased chance of lung cancer. 

Genetics can also play a role in someone’s experience with marijuana. Someone who is more genetically susceptible to schizophrenia has a higher chance of experiencing psychosis or other psychotic events if using marijuana.  

There are also benefits that come from using marijuana medicinally. The plant has, funnily enough, been known to help many with depression and anxiety. It can also help with insomnia, chronic pain, and nausea.   

Like everything, there is good and bad surrounding marijuana use. There is even more concern when it comes to brain development. When it comes to whether I think that marijuana use is good or bad, I think that it depends. If something is harmful and not beneficial, it makes no sense to keep doing that thing as the long-term consequences can make things worse. It is all trial and error and not the answer for everyone.