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New Research Absolves Teen Marijuana Use in Long-Term Health Issues

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Chronic marijuana use by teens found innocent of causing mental and physical health issues later in life. . . 

An August 3, 2015 report conducted by the American Psychological Association, which closely monitored nearly 400 long-term male adolescent pot smokers nearly 20 years ago, has discovered that prolonged marijuana use in no way is connected with problematic health issues discovered later in life.

According to Jordan Bechtold, PhDWhat we found was a little surprising.”

The postdoctoral fellow at Pittsburgh University’s Medical Center noted, “There were no differences in any of the mental or physical health outcomes that we measured regardless of the amount of frequency of marijuana used during adolescence.”

For their myth defying research, scientists scrutinized data taken from the Pittsburgh Youth Study, drilling down on the long-term research project that looked for any potential relationship between anti-social and criminal behavior among male adolescence in Pittsburgh’s public schools during the late 80s.

Within the Pittsburgh study, researchers conducted follow-up interviews with many of these young men, at first biannually, then on a yearly basis. Once hitting the ripe old age of 35, researchers then gave the participants an exit questionnaire.

With the study over and the final interviews completed, scientists isolated the study’s participants into four distinct subgroups; those young men who rarely or never smoke marijuana – 46%; those who generally only used pot as an adolescent – 11%; those who began smoking cannabis after becoming an adult – 21%; and the chronic smokers, individuals who began early and became consistent consumers well into adulthood – 22%. Scientists then compared the overall health status of these groups to each other, adjusting for variables like tobacco use.

The study’s conclusion: “Findings from this sample indicated that chronic marijuana users were not more likely than late increasing users, adolescence-limited users, or low/nonusers to experience several physical or mental health problems in their mid-30s. Dr. Bechtold continued, “In fact, there were no significant differences between the marijuana trajectory groups in terms of adult health outcomes.”

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