Does Marijuana Make You A Loser? Not Necessarily.
Dude, good news for the pot smokers among us: Marijuana might not make us dopey, after all. A recent study contradicts a finding from 2012 that linked heavy cannabis use to dwindling IQ. Who to trust in this reefer madness? We break down the pot-head debate.
What’s the Deal?
Marijuana has been in the news of late in states across the country. But not all press is good press: Last year, ganja drew a bad rap suggesting people who smoked pot on a regular basis as teenagers were more likely to see declines in their IQ by middle age.
But the new year brings new, weed-friendly findings: A concludes thatnon-pot-related factors are therealcause of a decline in smarts. The study’s authors propose that factors associated with socioeconomic status — rather than a person’s toking habits — could explain the results of the 2012 study. For example, people in lower socioeconomic classes tend to have reduced access to schooling, which can negatively affect IQ, .
To reach this conclusion, the study’s authors simulated the 2012 study (which , born the same year, from birth to age 38). Instead of looking for marijuana’s impact, the new study lookedjust atsocioeconomic factors and found the same decline in IQ.
Is It Legit?
Quite possibly. While the 2012 study wasn’t entirely incorrect (people’s cognitive performance did decline over time), it’s a big stretch to attribute those results strictly to a penchant for blowing haze — especially because several studies have found marijuana use isn’t associated with long-term or permanent declines in IQCurrent and former marijuana use: preliminary findings of a longitudinal study of effects on IQ in young adults. Fried, P., Watkinson, B., James, D., et al. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 2002 April 2; 166(7): 887–891Neurocognitive consequences of marihuana—a comparison with pre-drug performance. Fried, PA, Watkinson, B., and Gray, R. Department of Psychology, Carleton University. Neurotoxicology and Teratology, 2005 Mar-Apr;27(2):231-9. Epub 2004 Dec 9Neuropsychological performance in long-term cannabis users. Pope, HG Jr., Gruber, AJ, Hudson, JI, et al. McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School. Archives of General Psychiatry, 2001 Oct;58(10):909-15.
That said, some of these same studies found regular heavy users can experiencetemporarydeclines in IQ while using marijuana heavily (which perhaps might explain the "dumb stoner" stereotype). This could account for the missing link between the two studiesNeurocognitive consequences of marihuana—a comparison with pre-drug performance. Fried, PA, Watkinson, B., and Gray, R. Department of Psychology, Carleton University. Neurotoxicology and Teratology, 2005 Mar-Apr;27(2):231-9. Epub 2004 Dec 9Neuropsychological performance in long-term cannabis users. Pope, HG Jr., Gruber, AJ, Hudson, JI, et al. McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School. Archives of General Psychiatry, 2001 Oct;58(10):909-15.
But while research lends credence to the current study’s claims that socioeconomic factors are the real cause of cognitive decline, an author of the 2012 study maintains she and her co-authors before drawing their conclusions. Her team also found the IQs of adolescents whoweren’theavy users didn’t change in adulthood — regardless of their socioeconomic background. We can’t discredit the 2012 study entirely.
But the new findings are still cause for marijuana worrywarts to, you know,relax, man.
Are you convinced, or should pot smokers still fear for their cognitive health? Share in the comments below or get in touch with the author on Twitter .
Video: Why Weed Makes You Lazy
Slow Cooker Everything Beef
Woman Crashes Her Own Funeral After Husband Paid to Have Her Killed
What Causes Celiac Disease
The power of music while you work out
6 Signs of UTI That Youll Hopefully Never Experience
Barbour International x Steve McQueen: SS15 Collection
10 Things You Can Do With Aloe Vera
Is Rihanna Launching A Make-Up Brand Of Her Own
Lip Nail Art: How to DIY the Look AtHome
Beauty and the Beast adds a magical traveling book to movie