I may be guilty of spreading lies, deceit, and possible blasphemy against marijuana! That’s according to a new report. If you have read some of my previous articles, you may have noticed that I told you over and over that marijuana is bad for the adolescent brain.
A report that came out on April 18 of this year says. Marijuana’s effects on young brains diminish 72 hours after use! Is that good or bad news, let’s find out.
As a parent, you must accept the fact that sooner or later your child will experiment with something that in your mind is dangerous. The question is. Should weed remain on that list?
The question the study aimed to answer was. Is frequent cannabis use associated with cognitive dysfunction in adolescents and young adults?
During adolescence, the human brain is still under construction, previous studies indicate that marijuana use during this period may affect the user in the following ways:
- Movement and balance are affected when intoxicated.
- The user’s ability to think clearly, attention, memory and concentration are affected.
- Marijuana may cause moderate IQ decrease.
As you might have guessed, these effects will impact the user’s school performance. For example, an adolescent marijuana user may have difficulties in learning or lack motivation to do stuff.
Back in 2013, Rocio Martin Santos, MD, PHD, at the University of Barcelona, found that marijuana use led to structural brain abnormalities and altered neural activity. He and other researchers found that the changes may still be evident after a month of marijuana abstinence. I must mention that they only studied eight adolescent test subjects.
Another study found that. Compared to non users, marijuana smokers had changes in shape, volume and gray matter density in two brain regions namely the amygdala and nucleus accumbens. Chronic users had more significant differences.
What The New Study Says
It is worth noting that studies on long term cognitive effects of weed among adolescent users show inconsistent results. Some say, weed is harmless and others tell you that marijuana will shrink your brain and make you an unproductive member of society.
According to Kevin Sabet, Assistant adjunct Professor at the Yale School of Medicine
“There have been very important studies showing evidence for irreversible damage, and so there needs to be more research in this area”
He was talking about marijuana use during adolescence. He added.
“I hope they’re right. We want there to be little effect after 72 hours. But given the other studies that have had very large sample sizes that have been published over the past five years in prominent journals, I think we need to look into that more”
He was referring to the new study that says. Marijuana effects on young brains diminish after 72 hours. They came to this conclusion after conducting a systematic meta-analysis of 69 cross-sectional studies of 2152 marijuana users and 6575 comparison participants.
The results showed a small but significant overall effect size for reduced cognitive function in young and adolescent marijuana users.
What the report is telling us is very simple, the effects marijuana has on cognitive function diminish after 72 hours of abstinence. Is this true? Let’s say maybe it is and maybe it isn’t, the question is, are you willing it to risk it?
Is Marijuana Safe for Adolescents and Young Adults?
Most studies tell us that marijuana users who start early in life, are more likely to perform poorly at school, drop out, or fail to develop fundamental life skills necessary for problem solving and daily adaptation. If you know a person who started smoking weed very early in life, I’m sure that you will find some truth to that. However, there are marijuana users who succeed in life. In my opinion, I think it all boils down to how often you use marijuana, and how you balance your school life and marijuana use.
Studies come out day and night; each will tell you something a little different. But at the end of the day, a study won’t make you succeed or fail in life. Let’s be realistic, smoking weed is awesome, but there is evidence suggesting that weed use during your teenage or adolescent years may keep you from becoming what you want to be later in life.
If you are young, it is normal and okay to experiment with weed. The important thing is to set your priorities straight. The recommended age to start using marijuana is 17, why? By then, you are almost done with school and your brain is nearing maturity.
If you must use weed during your teenage years, here is what you should do:
- Don’t use marijuana before school unless you have a valid medical reason (make time for weed).
- Do not smoke at school or pressure other kids to smoke.
- Listen to your annoying parents when they lecture or advice you (if they noticed, it means that there is something wrong e.g. in your school performance).
- Educate yourself about the health risks before you light up.