Marijuana More Harmful to Teens Than Alcohol, Study Finds
CALIFORNIA — October 8, 2018
Canadian and American scientists have concluded that teenage cannabis use leads to long-term negative effects on their developing brain.
A Montreal University study found that the effect of marijuana on teenager’s behavior, thinking, and memory skills was stronger than that from extended alcohol consumption.
The experiment involved 3,826 seventh-grade students from 31 schools consisting of 5% of all students entering high school in 2012 and 2013. Participants were 13 years old at the time of the study. Scientists monitored the performance of the subjects for four years. Once a year, the teenagers talked about their bad habits. In addition, researchers tested their mental abilities using computer cognitive tests.
As a result of the study, it was discovered that alcohol and drug use, such as cannabis, at an early age, causes problems with cognitive abilities: learning, attention, and decision-making, as well as academic performance. The study found that their condition deteriorates as teens use more cannabis, and that there are worse consequences than from drinking alcohol.
The lead study author, Professor of psychiatry Patricia J. Conrod admitted she was convinced that alcohol would have more impact on the brain of teens. Instead, the study found that young people re more likely to make mistakes in cognitive tests after using marijuana, even after they stopped doing so.
“Their brains are still developing, but cannabis is interfering with this [process],” Professor Conrod noted.