Making the decision to undergo medical marijuana therapy can be a difficult one. Many patients desire the medicinal benefits provided by marijuana's various cannabinoids and terpenes, but they fear the possibility of experiencing adverse side effects, like damaging the lungs or harming brain cells. Now, however, research is beginning to contradict these previous negative stigmas associated with marijuana use, proving marijuana use does not harm the lungs or decrease intellectual capacity. One recent study in particular reveals medical marijuana patients have one less thing to worry about; a lower IQ.
Recent data published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found that marijuana use by adolescents does not result in a lower IQ or poorer educational performance, once confounding factors are taken into consideration. British investigators looked at 2,235 adolescents and assessed the relationship between cannabis use and IQ at age 15, and educational performance at age 16. Once they adjusted for confounding variables, they found, "[T]hose who had used cannabis [greater than or equal to] 50 times did not differ from never-users on either IQ or educational performance." This study directly contrasts with a previous New Zealand study which suggested those who used cannabis before the age of 18 had a lower IQ by age 38, but a separate review of the same data later reported this relationship was likely due to socioeconomic variables as opposed to cannabis use.
With this new data, medical marijuana patients can worry less about the effect their medication could have on their mental capacity. This information has been provided by NORML and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. You can also find the full text of the study here.