Marijuana Puts Young Men’s Mental Health At Risk

In Addiction by Tree House Recovery

Young men may be at exceptional risk for mental illness as a result of recreationally using marijuana. Science has long since proven that marijuana can have a negative effect on the brains of young people. Neurologically, the brain does not stop developing until the early to mid-twenties. When young men start abusing marijuana or using marijuana recreationally at a young age, they halt the psychological development of their brain. Critical development of the prefrontal cortex, among other areas of the brain, is inhibited, affecting many important functions, behavioral patterns, and more. The halting of psychological development puts young men at risk for the development of mood disorders, heightens their preexisting tendency toward impulsivity, and increases their likelihood of developing a substance use disorder.

A growing trend among marijuana-using youth around the world, especially young males, is a more severe psychiatric reaction to marijuana. Today’s marijuana has a greater amount of concentrated THC with curated levels of sativa or indica, which have different affects on the brain. How young people today experience getting high on marijuana is not the same as how young people in recent decades have experienced getting high on marijuana. Young men are reacting to marijuana with episodes of psychosis, neurosis, developments of schizophrenia, and other mental health disturbances. Long term or high quantity use is not required- some young men are finding themselves in the midst of severe reactions from short-term use at small doses of marijuana.

Young men are also at risk of running into synthetic marijuana which is rich with volatile and unlisted chemicals. Available for purchase in gas station convenient shops and head shops, synthetic marijuana is easily accessible and extremely dangerous. Just one use of synthetic marijuana can result in a psychotic break.

Until recent years, marijuana has navigated through the conversation of substance use somewhat undetected, maintaining the stigma that it isn’t as harmful as other drugs. As legalization and medicalization laws continue to pass across the United States, and as more young people experience adverse reactions to the drug, the conversation is changing. Despite its natural and even beneficial properties, marijuana is still a psychoactive mind altering substance which can cause addiction, dependency, and other negative mental affects.


Tree House Recovery of Orange County, California is a premier men’s addiction treatment facility that uses eight different modalities to help our men become the best versions of themselves they can be. We teach our men that every day of their journey is something to celebrate, and that recovery isn’t a sprint– it’s a marathon. By showing our men how to celebrate each day’s victories, we show them that self love isn’t about what we have or haven’t done. It’s about getting a little closer to where we want to be. To get started with Tree House Recovery, call us today at (503) 850-2474