This 7-Year Study Just SHATTERED The Claim That Smoking Pot Lowers Your IQ, But ONLY If You’re A ‘Casual’ User

Back in 2012 a study done by Duke University claimed that there was a link between heavy marijuana use and lower IQ’s in teenagers, however many researchers pointed out that the study only surveyed 38 persons considered to be “heavy” users which brought up questions about whether or not the sample pool was large enough and if the results could be applicable across the population. Regardless, the research done at Duke made international headlines.

But now a new study out of University College of London says that the results of the Duke study were flawed.

The study draws on a considerably larger sample of adolescents than the Duke research – 2,612 children born in the Bristol area of the U.K. in 1991 and 1992.

Researchers examined children’s IQ scores at age 8 and again at age 15, and found “no relationship between cannabis use and lower IQ at age 15,” when confounding factors – alcohol use, cigarette use, maternal education, and others – were taken into account. Even heavy marijuana use wasn’t associated with IQ.

Via Washington Post

Researchers found that alcohol was more strongly associated with a lowered IQ rather than marijuana, however that doesn’t mean that marijuana is completely in the clear. Yes, you can still smoke yourself stupid if you’re so inclined. Teens who had smoked weed more than 50 times before they were 15 did distinctly worse on exams than those who hadn’t:

The UK study does find evidence, however, of slightly impaired educational abilities among the very heaviest marijuana users. This group of students scored roughly 3% lower on school exams taken at age 16, even after adjusting for confounding factors.

Via Washington Post

The question here though, is do kids do poorly in school because they’re smoking weed, or do they smoke weed because they’re doing poorly? According to lead researcher Claire Mokrysz, the answer isn’t so simple.

‘The finding that heavier cannabis use is linked to marginally worse educational performance is important to note, warranting further investigation.’

The chair of the congress, Prof Guy Goodwin of the University of Oxford, said: ‘This is a potentially important study because it suggests that the current focus on the alleged harms of cannabis may be obscuring the fact that its use is often correlated with that of other even more freely available drugs and possibly lifestyle factors.

‘These may be as or more important than cannabis itself.’

Via Daily Mail

Regardless of the findings, should you really be smoking weed as a child, or even a teenager? FUCK no. Common sense here people. Your brain isn’t fully developed until your 20’s, so how would mucking it up with drugs, even “casually,” be a good idea? Better safe than sorry, kids.


[H/T Washington Post and Daily Mail, header image via Shutterstock]