A study conducted by scientists from Rutgers University in collaboration with scientists from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center indicates that consuming marijuana in adolescence does not cause problems in adulthood. The paper was published in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.
The research team gathered data from the Pittsburgh Youth Study which examined 14-year-old male teenagers from Pittsburgh public starting with late 1980s. The participants were monitored up until 2009-2010 when they reached the age of 36. Researchers were not able to identify a noticeable relation between teenage marijuana use and mental or physical health conditions in adulthood such as psychotic illnesses or depression.
The participants in the study were divided in four groups according to how they used marijuana. 11 percent of the participants consumed marijuana only in adolescence, 46 percent did not use marijuana at all or used it very seldom, 22 percent of them were early chronic users and 21 percent were late adolescent marijuana users who consumed marijuana in adulthood as well.
The findings of the study indicate that there were no significant differences between groups regarding health prognoses even though possible confounding controls were absent. The participants who were considered chronic marijuana users were not more likely to develop any mental or physical issue during their mid-30s. This was considered surprising since chronic users consumed marijuana once a week on average in their late teen years. Moreover when they were between 20 and 26 years chronic users used marijuana between three and four times a week.
Psychology research Jordan Bechtold from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center was the lead author of the study. He explained that the researchers wanted to contribute to the debate about marijuana legalization. He added that even though this matter is very complex officials should not fail to take into account a single research. The scientists involved in the study remarked:
Marijuana policymakers and stakeholders need to consider the results of any single study in the context of the larger body of work on the potential adverse consequences of early onset chronic marijuana use.”
A large number of studies have investigated cognitive health in relation with marijuana use so officials should look into each and every one in order to have a larger view on what are the exact consequences of marijuana use.
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