Chronic marijuana use by teenagers does not seem to affect the occurrence of various physical and mental disorders later in life, suggests a recent study published by the American Psychological Association. Among the conditions studied were depressive and psychotic disorders and asthma.
During the study – details published in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors – a team of researchers from Rutgers University in New Jersey and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center analyzed 408 males from their adolescence through their mid-30s.
The researchers divided the subjects into four groups – those who do not smoke or smoke a small amount of marijuana, early chronic users, those who smoked marijuana only during their teen years, and those who started smoking it later but continued using it. The researchers noted that the early chronic users smoked for almost 200 days in a year when they were around 22 years old.
The researchers were surprised by what they saw. At the start of the study, they were expecting to find correlations between heavy marijuana smoking and the later appearance of psychotic symptoms, including hallucinations and delusions. However, they found no links between the marijuana use and the appearance of mental and physical health problems.
In addition to mental disorders, the researchers found no link between marijuana use and the occurrence of other diseases, such as cancer, hypertension, anxiety, asthma, headache and respiratory problems.
The result findings were found to be true even when the researchers controlled for other factors, including consumption of other drugs, cigarette smoking and access to health insurance. However, the researchers say that studying men in their 30s might not be a good option since it “may be too early for decrements in health to emerge.” Therefore, the research team is looking for further data collections and a longer follow-up period.
Various studies conducted in the past have shown ill effects of smoking pot. Some studies suggest that it lowers the blood pressure and affects the blood sugar, while other say that almost every organ in the immune and nervous system gets affected by pot smoking.