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Smoking Weed Actually Does Not Lower Your IQ

Illustration for article titled Smoking Weed Actually Does Not Lower Your IQ

A study came out last summer that found that blazing up regularly as a teen could make you dumber. However, new analysis of that data finds that the original research was flawed, and that the lowered IQ scores of the study's participants may have been caused by other factors.

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The original study—published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) last August—tracked over 1000 people from Dunedin, New Zealand for 25 years. Their IQs were tested when they were 13 and again when they were 38. They were asked periodically throughout the years, about their marijuana use. Those who said they were hooked on reefer by the age of 18 showed a drop in IQ points, leading researchers at Duke University to suggest that weed is harmful to the adolescent brain.

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However, the new analysis—conducted by Ole Rogeberg of the Ragnar Frisch Center for Economic Research in Oslo, and also published in PNAS—found that socioeconomic differences among the study group, like education and occupation, may have contributed to the IQ drop, and not the pot.

Using computer simulation on the data, researchers found patterns that traced how socioeconomic factors potentially contributed to lowered IQ scores. While this new analysis doesn't completely rule out that weed makes you stupid, it does show that smart people are thinking an awful lot about it.

Image via pashabo/Shutterstock

Does marijuana lower IQ? New study challenges link [CBS News]

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DISCUSSION

Okay. This seems at least a mildly appropriate place for this. I need help. I called out of work yesterday, and today when I came back everyone is telling me that they hope I feel better soon, because I look awful. But the truth is, I am faking my sickness. At least physical sickness. I've been crying silently at my desk and on the subway today. I spent yesterday mostly in bed. My life has gotten to a point where, well, I guess that is just it...I don't know how to finish that anymore. I don't want to die. I'm so afraid of dying. But at the same time I don't really feel like I'm living.

I never smoked weed until I was 23-24. Was always against it. Now I am not at all. I think it is far less dangerous than alcohol. I don't think most people develop a problem with weed. But I have. And I don't know what to do. Even now at work, I just think, well when I get home tonight I can smoke and that will calm me down. But I am trying not to smoke, so it actually makes me more nervous & anxious...which makes me want to smoke more. It is vicious. I hate feeling like I have no control over something.

I hate my job, I have no prospects in my future. I suffer from depression and don't have health insurance. I live in NYC and am trying to get an appointment at NIP if anyone has any experience. I am entirely lonely, but also a recluse who just wants to be left alone. I find myself choosing to spend time alone to smoke and try to escape rather than leave my apt. Every aspect of my life is just in survival mode. I don't know anymore which problems are separate and which are entangled and related.

Sometimes I wish I could just turn to my mom and come clean...but she is in a worse place than me, and would be more disappointed than helpful I feel. Even now, just typing this into freaking Jezebel makes me feel ashamed. Like I don't know enough people in the real world to get help from for my problems. Or that I can't come up with an answer myself. I have to post randomly to whoever may see. I'm sorry. I guess this is my cry for help.

Every night I go to bed and say "tomorrow will be different". But inevitably I return to the same routine. I can't live like this anymore.