Document Type

Senior Thesis

Publication Date

Spring 2024


Schizophrenia is an often debilitating mental condition that has become a popular topic of psychological research in recent years. Current research examines the correlation between drug use, genetics, and environment on the development of schizophrenia. Research looks at the structure of the brain in individuals with and without schizophrenia. However, research has failed to look at the specific correlation between marijuana use in adolescent youth and the developmental impact on the brain, including in the development of schizophrenia. The legalization of many recreational drugs, including marijuana, has come to fruition in recent years. This has raised concerns over adolescent access to these substances and the negative effects that result. Using the technique of a literature review, this paper analyzes several studies regarding the use of marijuana and the development of schizophrenia. As a result of this literature review, I discovered that there is convincing evidence that marijuana can impact the development of an adolescent brain leaving users vulnerable to mental illnesses such as schizophrenia. Specifically, the physiological changes that occur in a developing brain with marijuana use parallel the psychological changes seen in some cases of schizophrenia.


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