Marijuana is indeed highly controversial, the more so legalization has broken the markets and it came with some serious side effects. Extensive studies debate either the benefits or the downsides of the herb but fail to offer a steady and insightful opinion on the matter. Advocates defend its benefits while critics comment on the drawbacks that can prove to be dramatic.
Some say that marijuana is linked to depression and feelings of sadness, anguish and anxiety, as it takes our minds on alternative realms that disconnect us from reality. But recent studies show that chronic marijuana use, at least among teens, has no link to mental or physical health problems later in life. The conclusion is based on a study conducted over the past 20 years.
To base their findings on facts, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Rutgers University have divided study subjects into four groups, from their teenage years onward.
The first group never smoked marijuana, the other used it mostly in their teenage years and the third one started using marijuana early and continued into their adult years. Although strong suggestions imply that regular pot use among teens is tied to mental problems, the most severe of them being schizophrenia, this latest study revealed some surprising results.
Chronic marijuana users are not more exposed, compared to late increasing users, adolescent limited users or non-users, to experience several physical or mental health problems in their mid-30’s. Well, all the fuss about marijuana playing and interfering with our rational processes appears to be a myth. Some of us had already guessed that but a little bit on confirmation never did anybody wrong. Moreover, researchers found no link whatsoever between teen marijuana use and lifetime depression, allergy, anxiety, high blood pressure or headaches.
The relevance of the study is fairly grounded, as it was able to analyze and track 408 individuals as they grew up, rather than looking back on marijuana use retrospectively, in order to find a link with current health problems. All those involved in the study were male subjects, which sounds a bit discriminatory, if we come to think about it, and the study controlled variables such as tobacco smoking and socioeconomic background.
Based on results from previous studies, authors were expecting to find a correlation between teen pot use or abuse and later development of cancer, psychotic problems, asthma or respiratory problems. To the joy of marijuana advocates and raised eyebrows of critics, the researchers found no link whatsoever with any of the diseases mentioned above. So it seems that marijuana and depression are not linked.
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