From a sociological aspect, adolescents start using marijuana recreationally because of peer pressure and the overwhelming image of marijuana not really being that harmful as the media claimed it to be 40 years ago (i.e. when they compared it to utter madness). Still, the harmless feeling of well-being that floats through the air as you light up that joint can sometimes be misleading, especially if you go from recreation to overdoing it at a point when you’re immature, easily fascinated and really vulnerable. And here is why.
Research @ Duke University
Even though this is highly debatable, it is believed that the brain is fully developed at the age of 18 and from that point on it is much harder to cause damage to it. According to a research conducted by scientists from Duke University, consuming cannabis before you’re 18 can cause irreversible damage to the brain. Now, this study spans over a time period of 38 years where 1,037 where studied and monitored on the basis of their pot use. Merely 5% of those people smoked marijuana when they were under 18 years old. Those same 5% exhibit an 8-point drop in IQ by the time they were 38. Participants who smoked marijuana after they reached 18 years of age, showed no drop in IQ whatsoever.
This is not exactly high science; everybody knows that if you start experimenting with substances at an early age, you will have to face the consequences sooner or later. However, we believe results like these should pop up every once in a while just to remind teenage chronic cannabis users of the hazards marijuana can actually bring. All 5% of participants consumed marijuana more than once a week and that was enough for such a high drop in IQ, even if 8 points doesn’t seem like much at first. Additional symptoms include memory and focus loss. And you just might find yourself in a jam when you realize at the end of the day that you had 10 to-do tasks but you forgot to do any of them.
These findings show that an 8-point IQ loss can significantly affect all aspects of life from keeping a job to having a somewhat normal relationship. The point is, you wont have a high life-success rate if you kept toking before 18. That fact alone should make you go back to just occasional use, instead of sticking to your daily smoking routine.
The study is supported by several animal studies and it also shows that the use of alcohol, cocaine and nicotine affects an individual’s entire life if he or she develops a medium habit towards any of the mentioned substances. Recreational consumption of marijuana is constantly rising and today we have more kids smoking cannabis than cigarettes which is not really fine and dandy because these kids may deal with permanent consequences, especially if consuming weed that contains 25% THC or more.