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article imageRelax — marijuana doesn't lower IQ after all

By Ocean Malandra     Oct 24, 2014 in Health
Oxford - Despite several hyped headlines to the contrary, a large new study proves that marijuana use does not lower IQ in teens one bit.
The year 2012 saw major publications like Time Magazine reporting that Marijuana use in teens had been found to lower IQ scores by up to eight points.
This and other articles were quoting a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that claimed that their research suggested a "neurotoxic effect of cannabis on the adolescent brain."
Fearmongers and drug war hawks ran wild with these findings, despite the fact that the very same journal published a follow up study just six months later that found that the previous study was "flawed and the causal inference drawn from the results premature."
The follow up study, which was conducted at Oxford University, also concluded that the IQ lowering effects of Marijuana reported in the first study "are likely to be overestimates, and that the true effect could be zero."
Now, the results of a large study published in Science Daily involving over 2,600 children seems to be putting a nail in the coffin of the belief that Marijuana lowers IQ once and for all.
The researchers tested the IQ of the children at age eight and again at age 15, and "found there was no relationship between cannabis use and lower IQ at age 15."
According to the lead researcher in the study, Claire Mokrysz, the differences in cognitive behavior between Marijuana smokers and non-smokers is due to other lifestyle factors:
""Our findings suggest cannabis may not have a detrimental effect on cognition, once we account for other related factors- particularly cigarette and alcohol use. This may suggest that previous research findings showing poorer cognitive performance in cannabis users may have resulted from the lifestyle, behaviour and personal history typically associated with cannabis use, rather than cannabis use itself."
The results of the study will be presented at the annual European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) in Berlin.
According to commenting ECNP Chair, Professor Guy Goodwin, ""This is a potentially important study because it suggests that the current focus on the alleged harms of cannabis may be obscuring the fact that its use is often correlated with that of other even more freely available drugs and possibly lifestyle factors."
More about Marijuana, IQ, Drugs, Medical Marijuana, Teens
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