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The drug can also affect judgment and coordination. When used during the teenage years when the brain is still developing, marijuana might affect IQ and mental function. Because marijuana contains some of the same chemicals found in tobacco, there have been concerns that smoking it could harm the lungs.
The effects of inhaled marijuana on lung health aren’t clear, but there’s some evidence it might increase the risk for bronchitis and other lung problems. The National Institute on Drug Abuse says marijuana can be addictive and is considered a “gateway drug” to using other drugs. “The higher the level of THC and the more often you use, the more likely you are to become dependent,” Bonn-Miller says.