It looks like our parents were right: A recent study has found that heavy pot use by adolescents younger than 18 damages their brains.
Researchers are saying that the study should be taken quite seriously, because the work was extensive. It was conducted by scientists at Duke University here in the states and King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, and involved 1,000 participants who were tracked over 40 years, according to Reuters.
The bottom line, it seems, is that cannabis isn’t harmless for the youthful, whose brains haven’t matured yet. Their smarts, attention and memory permanently suffered as a result of their pot use, the study found. But marijuana use for those over 18 does not have the same damaging effect.
The study started in 1972, and roughly 96 percent of the participants did stick with it. Researchers administered tests to gauge memory, reasoning and other cognitive functions to the participants when they were 38, Reuters reported.
Those who had been heavy pot users in their youth scored poorly in most of those tests. Their IQ test scores also slid about 8 points, according to Reuters.
“While 8 IQ points may not sound like a lot on a scale where 100 is the mean … an IQ drop from 100 to 92 would mean dropping from being in the 50th percentile to being in the 29th,” Reuters reported.