Everyone knows that guy or gal who’s super
smart, and can play soccer while reciting
Yeats backwards who also happens to be a SUPER
HUGE POTHEAD WHATSUPWITHDAT?!
Hey y’all, Trace here for DNews. This week
a new 30 year, 39,000 person Canadian study
came out comparing tobacco smoking teens with
pot smoking teens. Researchers learned the
popularity of pot and cigarettes in 1981 was
the opposite of today. Back then cigarettes
were the norm and pot was the strange habit;
now it’s swapped! On top of changing of social
norms, the study ALSO found, pot smokers do
better in school than their tobacco smoking
peers! This got us asking: is the smart pothead
Well, it doesn’t make you dumber, at least,
not for long. A study from Australian National
University found the belief of the dumb pothead
is based on an accidental statistical bias!
Once the researchers began to control for
intelligence, income and social ability science
found people who smoke pot aren’t dumber.
And a 2001 study by Harvard found long-term
heavy pot users DO mess up their short-term
memory, but if they quit for a month, it comes
We know IQ can be controversial, but a long-term
study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community
Health took the IQ of 8,000 British children
aged 5 and 10 years old in the 1970s. Then
they went back to those same people and asked
them about their psychological distress and
drug use at ages 16 and 30. The researchers
controlled for anxiety and depression as a
teen, parental social class, and lifetime
income levels. By the time the subjects were
30, one in three men and one in six women
had used pot! Turns out, men and women with
high IQ scores at age 5, were 50-percent more
likely to be in the using population at 30;
with the brainy ladies using more than the
The researchers decided these smartypants
were using either as a coping mechanism, from
years of bullying and social exclusion, or
perhaps because smarter people crave novel
experiences and sensations. They’re going
to dig deeper with more research.
But with all these studies there is no evidence
that pot can make us smarter. I did find a
study from 2010 which found cannabis users
performed better at some semantic memory tests.
Basically, the brain connects related words
more easily, but that’s really it.
It does appear to make you less motivated,
though. There is new evidence that marijuana
makes it hard to activate the brain’s reward
system. Their brains are awash with dopamine,
but the reward system is blunted by cannabinoids
in the herb and fails to give you the get-up
and go. And new studies show marijuana can
be psychologically addictive and require psychotherapy
and medication to treat dependency.
Bottom-line: there’s NO causation for pot
MAKING HUMANS SMARTER. But chances are the
honor roll is totally rolling. This makes
sense, because the smart kids usually WORK
HARDER, so they probably party harder too.
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