The United Kingdom’s Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children followed 2,612 students born in the Bristol area in the early nineties and found that moderate cannabis use among teenagers may not lead to a lower IQ score.
Lead researcher Claire Mokrysz, of University College London, said the findings suggested cannabis “may not have a detrimental effect on cognition”, once other related factors, including smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol, had been taken into account.
She said: “Adolescent cannabis use often goes hand in hand with other drug use, such as alcohol and cigarette smoking, as well as other risky lifestyle choices. It’s hard to know what causes what – do kids do badly at school because they are smoking weed, or do they smoke weed because they’re doing badly?”
This study suggests it is not as simple as saying cannabis is the problem. “People often believe that using cannabis can be very damaging to intellectual ability in the long-term, but it is extremely difficult to separate the direct effects of cannabis from other potential explanations.”
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