If you think putting your rebellious teen years behind you will leave no lasting proof that damage was done, think again.
New research from Duke University in New Zealand shows that teen marijuana use could be as harmful as Degrassi Junior High always told us it is.
The study, which followed 1,000 New Zealanders for 40 years, found that adolescent pot smokers had lowerd IQs and scored lower on tests assessing memory, processing speed, reasoning and visual processing than sober peers.
‘The persistent, dependent use of marijuana before age 18 has been shown to cause lasting harm to a person’s intelligence, attention and memory,’ according to the research team.
The IQ of adolescent cannabis users from when they were 13-years-old to when they were 28-years-old declined by an average of 8 points.
The scariest part?
‘Quitting pot did not appear to reverse the loss,’ says lead researcher Madeline Meier, a post-doctoral researcher at Duke University. Meaning, quitting won’t make your brain as good as new.
Before you consider yourself a lost cause and decide to relax with some munchies and watch Dazed and Confused, be warned: You might not be in the clear, even after adolescence.
‘What isn’t possible to know from this study is what a safer age for persistent use might be, or what dosage level causes the damage,’ says Meier.
What do you think? Based on your experience, is this study accurate?
-Katharine Watts, Associate Web Editor