Marijuana Use Robs Teens of 8 IQ Points, Says New Study
Insane in the membrane? Maybe.
While we here in the marijuana dispensary capital of America know that cannabis can cure what ails us, for teenagers it might do more harm than good.
A new study by researchers holding dual roles at Duke University and the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London found that kids' IQs suffer when they smoke sticky:
The study tracked 1,037 New Zealanders from adolescence to adulthood.
Published in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, it finds that teen users had an average IQ that was 8 points lower than non-users by age 38.
Quitting at any age didn't seem to help, either, according to the researchers.
The academics blame the development of the adolescent brain, which keeps on doing so until about age 18. Smoking weed before that can arguably stunt intelligence.
According to a summary of the report:
West Valley Patients Group
At age 38, all of the study participants were given a battery of psychological tests to assess memory, processing speed, reasoning and visual processing. The people who used pot persistently as teens scored significantly worse on most of the tests. Friends and relatives routinely interviewed as part of the study were more likely to report that the persistent cannabis users had attention and memory problems such as losing focus and forgetting to do tasks.
Researcher Madeline H. Meier noted that the loss of brain function loss is a handicap in this dog-eat-dog world of haves and have-nots:
Somebody who loses 8 IQ points as an adolescent may be disadvantaged compared to their same-age peers for years to come.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Los Angeles, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.