“Two And a Half Men” seems to have got it right. A study found that smoking pot teenagers will see a decline in their IQ later on. In the TV series Jake and Walden often smoke pot and their IQ seems to go down the drain day by day.
Most marijuana users argue there are no drawbacks to their “guilty pleasure” but several studies have shown otherwise. Recent data shows at least one in 10 teenagers smokes pot at least 10 times a month while in high school. On the overall there are basically millions of smoking pot teenagers at risk of seeing a long term decline in their IQ. Pot is particularly hazardous for teenagers, as it impacts heavily the developing brain.
The journal Proceedings of the National Academies of Science published a research from New Zealand that show’s there a link between smoking pot and IQ decline in teenagers. The research focuses on what experts call the “toxic effects of cannabis on the brain” and teenagers are particularly at risk.
A group of 1,037 children born in New Zealand have been analyzed during the first 38 years of their lives. They were tested for cognitive performance in their early days, at 13 years before having smoked pot and then later on at 38. Since their 18th birthday, the participants were asked 4 times if they have ever used drugs, including marijuana.
Researchers noticed that participants who began smoking pot the earliest and continued intensely throughout the years have had the highest decline in IQ. Participants that were labeled marijuana-addicts three or more times presented an IQ decline of 8 points on the average.
Children that started smoking pot before 18 presented the biggest decline in cognitive performance. 52 of the 1,037 participants announced they were addicted on marijuana at 18, despite being well aware of their addiction’s health, social and legal drawbacks. Moreover, people who knew them well noticed participants had shown memory and attention problems.
“Collectively, these findings are consistent with speculations that cannabis use in adolescence, when the brain is undergoing critical development, may have neurotoxic effects” reads the conclusion of the study authors.