Study Shows Cannabis Not Linked to Lower IQ
During an analysis of two large studies of twins, scientists set out to determine whether there was a greater cognitive decline in regular pot users than in those who have never used at all.
While it is often preached that teenagers who smoke marijuana on a regular basis are bound to experience diminished intelligence in their adult lives, researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Minnesota are disputing this claim because they say there is no evidence that proves long-term cannabis consumption is a contributing factor in lowing a person’s IQ.
Their findings, which were published in the latest edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggest that while pot is often associated with degrading intelligence, they found no significant differences in the IQ’s of the twins who used marijuana when compared to their sober counterparts.
Interestingly, this study falls in line with the outcome of another report published this month in the Journal of Pharmacology, in which researchers set out to challenge a 2012 study from Duke University that found regular pot consumption in teens was a leading cause of inferior intelligence. In an attempt to blow this concept out of the water, researchers at University College London tested nearly 3,000 teens that reported being either hardcore pot smokers or non-users. Although some of the young stoners did test slightly lower than non-users, researchers found this was more likely brought on by other factors.
“The findings do not support the hypothesis that cannabis use in adolescence leads to persistent decline in cognitive functioning, once other possible confounding variables are accounted for,” wrote the study authors.
Although researchers were unable to link pot consumption with lower intelligence, they did find that moderate alcohol use was “strongly associated with IQ decline.” Strangely, however, IQ points did not seem to decrease in cases of heavier alcohol consumption – an anomaly in the study requiring more attention.
“The finding that moderate but not heavier alcohol use was associated with IQ decline may relate to a detrimental effect of alcohol use in adolescence, warranting further investigation.”
Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, recently told The Associated Press that this research “is important” and should be the subject of additional studies. She went on to say that the U.S. government is already involved in a study pertaining to adolescent drug use, in which scientists will follow around in upwards of 10,000 kids to find out how marijuana and other substances are impacting their lives.
Did you smoke marijuana as a teen?