Historically, marijuana use has been linked to the deterioration of young brains that often leads to burnout behavior. However, a new study of college students suggests quite the contrary: smoking weed may actually provide a certain level of increased brainpower.
According to researchers from the University of Minnesota, consuming marijuana at an early age does not necessarily lead to poor cognitive function as an adult. In fact, their latest study, published in the March edition of the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, researchers say college-aged stoners scored higher on several cognitive function assessments.
“Marijuana users were high functioning, demonstrating comparable IQs to controls and relatively better processing speed,” researchers wrote of their findings.
These results were obtained through the comparative examination of 35 straight-laced sobers and 35 full-blown stoners, all between the ages of 18-20, who reported beginning a personal love affair with marijuana prior to turning 17-years-old.
“Marijuana use during this age span has been most strongly associated with cognitive impairment,” researchers noted.
Overall, researchers say they found no significant difference between the two study groups, specifically when testing memory function and the ability to learn through the spoken word. However, while lifelong stoners scored exceptionally well on various other tests, researchers did record a marginal decrease in scores ranking the group in decision making ability and verbal memory function.
Researchers conclude their study provides, “A comprehensive cognitive profile of college-aged daily marijuana users,” that indicates while using marijuana comes with a few “discreet impairments, youthful consumption of the herb does not necessarily result in adult brain stagnation.