There is some evidence that legalization of cannabis use by adults has reduced the attraction of “prohibited fruit” from marijuana banning with adolescent use declining slightly in the states. “legal”. Part of the reason, of course, is that authorized resellers do not sell to minors. However, the fear of telling the truth about adolescent and marijuana use has infected the United States for decades.
More recently, anti-cannabis groups have continued to generate fears of possible negative consequences for life caused by adolescent use. While the moralistic intent of suppressing adolescent marijuana-type cannabis use may be asserted, the true practice of curbing Reefer Madness-type fears has a tendency to backfire. First, they sensationalize cannabis which makes it more interesting. Then, when proven false, they increase and reinforce the general perception that cannabis is safe to consume.
Researchers have recently studied issues of cognitive loss of life, depression, and suicidal tendencies that have found that adolescent marijuana users generally feel well. Other studies show that adult cannabis users tend to succeed in their career goals, get more exercise and have a better quality of life in their later years.
Attention, working memory, short memory all go well
Adolescents with moderate cannabis exposure show no decrease in neurocognitive skills compared to controls, according to longitudinal data published in the journal. Cognitive Development.
An international team of researchers from Canada, France, Germany, Ireland and the United States examined the relationship between marijuana use in adolescence at age 14 and cognitive performance at age 19. 15 showed little difference in neurocognitive performance compared to nonusers.
The authors determined: “Our data suggest that the decision is not compromised when cannabis is used in moderation, and the onset of use occurs after the age of 15 … [A]after controlling the confounders, we found no evidence of effects of cannabis on the remaining neurocognitive variables such as attention, working memory, short-term memory, and risk-taking. ”
They concluded: “In summary, we find no evidence to support the presumption that cannabis use leads to a decline in neurocognitive ability.”
The Canadian study calms fears of psychological impact
The use of cannabis by adolescents is not predictive regardless of depression or suicidal ideation, according to longitudinal data published in the Journal of Affective Disorders.
A team of Canadian researchers examined the relationship between cannabis use at age 15 and the likelihood of depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation at age 20 in a cohort of more than 1,600 adolescents.
The researchers reported that cannabis use was not independently associated with an increased risk of suicidal thoughts in adulthood after investigators controlled for the use of alcohol, tobacco and other substances by adults. subjects. In addition, the researchers reported that adolescents who suffered from depression were more likely to use cannabis later in life, not vice versa.
The authors concluded: “This population-based study is the first, to our knowledge, to examine the temporal relationship between cannabis use, depression, and suicidal ideation simultaneously over five years during adolescence. Depression (but not suicidal ideation) predicted weekly cannabis use throughout adolescence.Weekly cannabis use predicted suicidal ideation (but not depression), but this association is no longer significant after having taking into account other consumption of substances such as the consumption of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs …. These findings highlight the importance of targeting depressive symptoms during this period of sensitive development in an attempt to compensate. the potential increase in cannabis use over time ”.
In June, NIH researchers published data in the Journal of the American Medical Associationhighlights an association between frequent cannabis use and elevated levels of suicidal ideation in young adults. However, the study authors neither monitored for the use of other drugs, nor did they assess whether the relationship was bidirectional.
The full text of the study, “Residual effects of cannabis use on neuropsychological functioning,” appears in Cognitive Declension. Further information is available on the NORML fact sheet, “Exposure to Marijuana and Cognitive Performance”.
The full text of the study, “Cannabis use, depression, and suicidal ideation in adolescence: Leading associations in a population-based cohort,” appears in the Journal of Affective Disorders.