This new study debunks a lot of cannabis myths and points the way forward for future studies. Worried about marijuana use among teens? It’s an easy thing to be afraid of with so many misconceptions and misinformation on cannabis continuing to circulate.
Outdated modes of thinking and even a lot of old studies would have us believe that habitual cannabis use, especially among young people, would lead to all sorts of disastrous consequences. The latest science, however, is telling us otherwise.
Details of this amazing study about teens smoking cannabis.
Researchers from the Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Rutgers University published an American Psychological Association report this past August, revealing that early onset cannabis users (from early adolescence to mid-20s) are no more likely to develop physical or mental issues than non-users by their mid-30s.
The article, which appeared in the Psychology of Addictive Behaviors journal, presented these findings and several other interesting observations based on data from a longitudinal study consisting of white and black men from 1987 until 2010, when the participants were last re-interviewed.
The participants, ranging from non-users to early onset chronic users, showed no significant differences in mental or physical health – even when removing the controls for co-occurring substances such as tobacco and alcohol use.
Although this doesn’t mean that marijuana use is harmless for everyone, it does debunk a lot of previous claims – questionable studies which suggested cannabis leads to cancer, respiratory or cardiac issues, as well as metabolic health problems or psychosis.
Raising important questions for future studies about pot smoking teens.
The authors of the new article found the opposite of what they’d set out to prove. Their original effort was “to provide empirical evidence regarding the potential adverse consequences of marijuana legalization.”
But they were at a loss to find any negative outcomes for adults who started using cannabis at an early age.Instead of burying the unforeseen results, as is often the case with pharmaceutical trials, these researchers used the findings to raise questions and point out where previous studies went wrong.
That’s not to say this latest study isn’t without its limitations. If we were able to extend the age of the cohort beyond the mid-30s, might we see cannabis-induced health problems arise at later stages of life? Would there be any differences if we included women in the study? More important, the authors conclude, the study does not factor in the higher THC levels we see in some of the more modern strains of cannabis.
An important piece of the pot puzzle.
So what we’re left with is an important piece of the puzzle, another early arrow pointing forward in society’s emerging acceptance of cannabis. We’re realizing there is not so much to fear, and yet still so much to learn.
While a lot of the latest science on cannabis is revealing truths that habitual enthusiasts of the plant have known for decades, it’s exciting to see mainstream medicine begin to accept cannabis once again.
But we still have a long way to go and plenty of restrictions to slow us down as long as the federal government maintains that cannabis has zero medicinal value and is subject to abuse. It’s important for us to seriously question any study or claims about cannabis that we come across as we crawl our way out from nearly a century of lies.
Even if we still don’t want our teens using cannabis, this study allows concerned parents to take their fingers off the panic button and hopefully have honest, educational dialogues about how this plant is meant to be used.
- What do you think about teens smoking pot?