Study: Cannabis Use Doesn't Cause Long Term Health Problems
No one likes the idea of teenagers using cannabis, but new research suggests it is not the catastrophic and life-ruining event that prohibitionists would have us believe. What’s more, this new research is a large scale, longitudinal, in-depth study, giving it a lot of weight.
The research in question was published in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviour, and comes courtesy of researchers from the Pittsburgh School of Medicine in conjunction with Rutgers University. In it, researchers followed the lives of 408 male participants from adolescence well into their mid-thirties, analysing the frequency of cannabis use as well as health and mental state. It was found that those who used cannabis during their adolescence were at no greater risk of developing mental health issues than participants who had never used cannabis at all.
It was concluded: “Overall, data from this sample provide little to no evidence to suggest that patterns of marijuana use from adolescence to young adulthood […] were negatively related to the indicators of physical or mental health studied. This is particularly striking given that men in the early onset chronic group were using marijuana (on average) once per week by late adolescence and continued using marijuana approximately 3-4 times a week from age 20 to 26 years.”
The results go against the researchers’ hypothesis, who initially thought they were going to find a positive link between cannabis use and mental health issues.
It is a hugely significant piece of research, and while it only uses men as a sample, it shows that without a doubt, cannabis is not the massive danger some believe it to be. The researchers used over 400 participants and followed them for 20 years, making it one of the few experiments into the matter to use such a large sample and gather data over such a long period of time. It makes the results hugely significant!
Will people listen? That is still yet to be determined. While the article has garnered some mainstream media coverage, it is likely to be done so grudgingly, and will quickly be pushed aside. But none the less, this is another tick in the box for cannabis. It is only a matter of time; society cannot keep its head buried in the sand forever.