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Taking cannabis in your teens is ‘NOT linked to depression, lung cancer or asthma in later life’, New study

‘There were no differences in any of the mental or physical health outcomes that we measured regardless of the amount or frequency of marijuana used during adolescence.’

Smoking  marijuana grass cannabis weed-837125_640 (2)

Chronic marijuana use by teenage boys does not appear to be linked to later physical or mental health issues such as depression, psychotic symptoms or asthma, according to a study published by the American Psychological Association.

Researchers tracked 408 males from adolescence into their mid-30s for the study, which was published in Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.

“What we found was a little surprising, ” said lead researcher Jordan Bechtold, PhD, a psychology research fellow at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. “There were no differences in any of the mental or physical health outcomes that we measured regardless of the amount or frequency of marijuana used during adolescence.”

Marijuana use has undergone intense scrutiny as several states and the District of Columbia have legalized the drug, prompting the researchers to examine whether teen marijuana use has long-term health consequences. Based on some prior studies, they expected to find a link between teen marijuana use and the later development of psychotic symptoms (delusions, hallucinations, etc.), cancer, asthma or respiratory problems, but they found none. The study also found no link between teen marijuana use and lifetime depression, anxiety, allergies, headaches or high blood pressure. This study is one of just a few studies on the long-term health effects of teen marijuana use that have tracked hundreds of participants for more than two decades of their lives, Bechtold said.

The research was an offshoot of the Pittsburgh Youth Study, which began tracking 14-year-old male Pittsburgh public school students in the late 1980s to analyze various health and social issues. For 12 years, participants were surveyed annually or semiannually, and a follow-up survey was conducted with 408 participants in 2009-10 when they were 36 years old. The study sample was 54 percent black, 42 percent white and 4 percent other races or ethnicities. There were no differences in the findings based on race or ethnicity.

Participants were divided into four groups based on their reported marijuana use: low or non-users (46 percent); early chronic users (22 percent); participants who only smoked marijuana during adolescence (11 percent); and those who began using marijuana later in their teen years and continued using the drug (21 percent). Early chronic users reported much higher marijuana use, which rapidly increased during their teens to a peak of more than 200 days per year on average when they were 22 years old. Their marijuana use then declined somewhat as they got older.

The researchers controlled for other factors that could have influenced the findings, including cigarette smoking, other illicit drug use, and participants’ access to health insurance. Since the study included only males, there were no findings or conclusions about women. Relatively few participants had psychotic symptoms, according to the study.

“We wanted to help inform the debate about legalization of marijuana, but it’s a very complicated issue and one study should not be taken in isolation, ” Bechtold said.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. PhDScientist

    August 5, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    It is a MORAL IMPERATIVE that Medical Marijuana be immediately legalized in all 50 states.
    For Cancer patients, for kids suffering from Seizures, and for so many others, safe, legal, access to Medical Marijuana is a matter of life and death.
    Ask any American who’s gone through Chemotherapy who’s used it. 
    There’s a great article in the July 22nd special issue of Newsweek on CANCER, titled
    “Marijuana is a Wonder Drug for when it comes to the horrors of Chemo”
    According to a 2014 poll, 82% of Oncologists felt that Medical Marijuana should be included as a treatment option.
    Ask the parents of any American kid with a seizure disorder who’s life its saved.
    They need a special kind of Marijuana oil that’s impossible to get in the 27 states that don’t have Medical Marijuana, and for their kids, its a matter of life and death.
    We need the President to cut through the red tape and take personal action on this issue right now. We need Congress to pass the CARERS act too. Americans are suffering and dying — needlessly!
    Please call the whitehouse comment line at (202) 456-1111 and ask that the President have Marijuana removed from Schedule 1, You can email the President by going tohttp://whitehouse.gov/ and clicking on “contact us”
    Call and email your Senators and Representative, and ask that they pass the CARERS act — IMMEDIATELY.
    Call and email every day, and ask everyone you know to call and email every day, and to keep calling, and keep emailing, for however long it takes, until the President, Congress or both take action.
    Please do everything you can to get as many people as possible to call and email and to keep on calling and emailing, every single day.
    Do everything you can to help with this effort.
    Pass it on.
    With luck the effort will go viral.
    The lives of countless Americans depend on it.

  2. PhDScientist

    August 5, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    Google “Tikun Olam Medical Cannabis”

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