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Does Weed Make You Stupid?
Cannabis can mildly affect cognition for up to 72 hours after use. However, research has shown that there are no significant long-term cognitive side effects from weed. This study tells us that marijuana does NOT make you stupid.
A systematic review, published in JAMA Psychiatry, analyzed 69 different studies all of which examined marijuana’s effects on cognition, including learning, memory, speed of information processing, and language and motor skills.
The research was conducted at the University of Pennsylvania and included 2152 self-reported cannabis users and 6575 self-reported non-cannabis users.
The study found that cannabis use slightly reduced cognitive functioning if users were tested during the first 72 hours after use. However, when a study required 72 hours of abstinence, NO long-term cognitive changes were observed.
Study Contradicts Propaganda
One of the most interesting facts about this study was that the participants were all adolescents and young adults with a mean age of 26. The research contradicts famous propaganda that marijuana makes people stupid.
Study Results Are Making Parents A Nervous
So what does this mean? Does this mean its safe for kids to casually smoke weed? Should Sandra freak out about the half-smoked joint she found in her teenage daughter’s bedroom?
Some parents are asking, if I can’t tell my kids cannabis makes them dumb, how do I keep them away?
It’s super important to note that this study ONLY examined cognition. Marijuana use still comes with risks, especially for children.
Cannabis still has risks. Especially for kids.
- The law is the most dangerous thing about cannabis. An arrest for marijuana can be devastating. Cannabis arrests DESTROY lives.
- Cannabis has a 9% addiction rate, and children are more at risk for addiction period. That’s true for ANY type of addiction: caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, VIDEO GAMES, gambling, etc.
- Cannabis can increase the risk of psychosis in children. Now, this risk is often overstated, because there are a bunch of other things that increase the risk of psychosis too, but this risk is especially relevant for adolescents with a family history of schizophrenia. READ: The Most Important Reason To Talk To Kids About Weed
- The marijuana kids are accessing is not legal and responsibly grown weed. Kids access black market cannabis which carries risks of synthetics, pesticides, fungi, and dangerous substances including formaldehyde. (Synthetic weed can be fatal.)
- There are other health risks associated with cannabis. Cannabis has cardiac side-effects, and it can increase the risk of periodontal disease. Marijuana can also interact with some medications.
In many cases, the risks associated with cannabis are much lower than the risks associated with traditional pharmaceuticals. However, we need a lot more research before we completely understand the full-scale of cannabis’s long-term health impacts. For now, rejoice in the fact that, contrary to popular opinion, cannabis does not make you stupid.