The younger we are when we start smoking marijuana, the more IQ points we are going to lose along the way. While this finding of the latest research by the scientists from the Duke University is not surprising, it sends a warning to young people who are reaching for marijuana when under stress. It is really not worth it.
Damage to the growing brains
Scientists lead by Dr. Madeline Meier tracked 1037 people from birth to the age 38, and interviewed them periodically about their drug use. They concluded that the developing brain of young people is particularly vulnerable to the effects of drugs. The research participants who smoked marijuana regularly from high school all the way through age 38 had IQ test scores 8 points lower than they had originally, when they were tested at the age 13.
Normally, our I.Q. scores are very stable, and most of us do not show any changes in our IQ from childhood to adulthood. The average IQ is 100.
What is also alarming is that the neuropsychological functioning did not improve if the person stopped smoking marijuana in adulthood. That shows that cannabis had permanent neurotoxic effects on the brain of growing young people.
It is very popular among young (and not so young) people to claim that marijuana is not having the same effect as other drugs and that it is in effect harmless. The findings of the researchers from the Duke University show just one, although very serious, effect of marijuana on the health and behavior. According to the National Institute for Drug Abuse, marijuana smoking impairs memory forming, focusing, disrupts concentration, balance and reaction time. Large dose can cause psychosis, delusions, loss of identity and hallucinations. Is occasional high really worth all these risks?