Have you heard that you’re going to become a pothead or fry your brain if you smoke cannabis as a young adult? I’m Dr. Mary Clifton. I’m an internal medicine doctor and the founder of cbdandcannabisinfo.com
Actually there were some early studies that suggested that you might. A population based study in New Zealand followed 1,037 patients for 38 years and they suggested that people who used cannabis actually saw a six point decline in their IQ.
[0:27] Population-based studies are different than randomized controlled trials.
[2:10] There is no association between young adulthood or adolescent cannabis use and any changes in IQ.
[2:18] The final study that really sealed that there’s no relationship between IQ and cannabis use was performed in the United States.
[2:35] The presence or absence of cannabis use in adolescents and young adulthood made absolutely no difference in terms of their IQ.
[3:38] There are definitely studies that show decrease in short term memory with the use of cannabis heavily, but stopping cannabis restores the person back to normal memory in less than or equal to just three months.
THE FULL TRANSCRIPTION
Population-based studies are different than randomized controlled trials. In population based studies we look at a group of people and follow them over many years and we can track different behaviors and habits and see what ends up happening over a period of time based on those behaviors.
That’s how we get to conclusions where we tell people to eat their vegetables or get regular exercise or get enough sleep. We never take a population of 20,000 people and feed half of them junk food and half of them healthy food and then find out what happens 20 years later.
In population-based data there is always a chance that
The people were already trending in a particular direction when they adopted a particular habit.
That maybe some people are just prone to eat unhealthy or prone to not get enough sleep and they have the subsequent outcomes.
So you always have to take this data with a grain of salt. You have to think it through and realize that it’s almost impossible to gather exactly the perfect study together to get the data that you’re looking for.
This initial study was worrisome. However, it was followed up by a study in the United Kingdom that was a bit larger, 2,235 patients followed since 1991, and in that group they found…
The final study that really sealed that there’s no relationship between IQ and cannabis use was performed in the United States.
It involved 3,066 people who were followed for 20 years.
The great thing about the United States study is that it included 47 discordant identical twin pairs. That means that there were 47 pairs of identical twins in this study, one who smoked and one who did not. And those are such powerful data points because they’re identical, DNA wise, and presumably much of their childhood was pretty similar.
We can make a really good argument that if there’s not a significant difference among these 3,066 people, 47 of whom were discordant identical twin pairs, then we can be assured that there’s no significant difference with using cannabis and a subsequent IQ.
There are definitely studies that show decrease in short term memory with the use of cannabis heavily, but stopping cannabis restores the person back to normal memory in less than or equal to just three months.
DR. MARY CLIFTON
Dr. Mary Clifton is an Internal Medicine doctor with 20 years of experience in both the hospital and private practice and a recognized expert in CBD, Cannabis, and Medical Marijuana. She is a published researcher, national speaker on women’s health and osteoporosis, and author of four books, and two new soon-to-be-released books on CBD and Cannabis – what you need to know, how to use them and a COOKBOOK to support ease of use.