Study: Adolescent Marijuana Use Not Associated With Health Problems In Early Adulthood

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director August 10, 2015

    Study: Adolescent Marijuana Use Not Associated With Health Problems In Early Adulthood Marijuana use by adolescents, including self-reported chronic use, is not associated with adverse health effects later in life, according to an assessment of longitudinal data published in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.

    Investigators from the Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Rutgers University prospectively examined whether young men who consumed cannabis during adolescence and/or young adulthood experienced a heightened risk of developing physical and mental health problems in their mid-30s. Researchers controlled for several potential confounding factors, including subjects’ socioeconomic status, co-occurring use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, and access to medical care and health insurance.

    Researchers reported that marijuana users, including chronic users, were no more likely to self-report experiencing physical or mental health issues than were non-users. Investigators further reported that early onset chronic marijuana use was not associated with an increased risk for the development of depression or anxiety disorders in early adulthood.

    The findings contradicted researchers’ initial hypothesis, as their stated motivation for conducting the study was to “provide empirical evidence regarding the potential adverse consequences of marijuana legalization.”

    Authors concluded: “The present study used prospective, longitudinal data that spanned more than 20 years to examine whether patterns of marijuana use from adolescence to young adulthood were related to indicators of physical and mental health in adulthood. … 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.”

    Full text of the study, “Chronic adolescent marijuana use as a risk factor for physical and mental health problems in young adult men,” appears online here.

    25 responses to “Study: Adolescent Marijuana Use Not Associated With Health Problems In Early Adulthood”

    1. Cat Cassie says:

      Well,well. Wonder what they think about that?

    2. TheOracle says:

      I’m looking forward to seeing this evidence presented in some new and updated potumentaries. If the network news channels would do some specials that are essentially pro-legalization that would add momentum to what the cable specials on CNBC,History, H2, NatGeo, MSNBC, CNN have been doing to educate the public.

    3. Julian says:

      Eat your heart out NIDA. The studies are out.

      A young adolescent male is on average the most cannabinoid deficient and aggressive he will be in his entire life. How did those school children put it on John Oliver’s coverage of DC Statehood on Last Week Tonight? Oh yes,
      “Let them have weed!”

      (If we can let 1st grade boys play full-tackle football, by God we can let teenagers injured with football concussions off the hook for smoking weed under the bleachers…)

    4. Miles says:

      I’m 59 now and have been using cannabis regularly since age 15! I am in excellent health and do not take any other drugs of any kind. If anything of the negative things the Feds have said about marijuana were true my condition would not be possible. It is just so obvious that they have been lying about it all these years that they just look like a bunch of total idiots; those that continue to cling to the prohibition approach (like Mitt Romney, Chris Christy, Santorum, Andy Harris… to name a few).

      Just how much longer America will put up with these fools is the big question!

    5. Todd says:

      If you think, being a doctor or researcher for example, of people as arms and legs with a thinking box on top, and that you can look inside that box and rate a person, I disagree. People are societal not monolithic. The earth functions as one ancient mind. The people who smoked pot as kids are the artists now, and the straight youth are our managers and government officials. An artist being open minded can self-report a mental health issue, but managers and government officials can’t afford the bad rap.

    6. Julian says:

      Well NIDA’s fussin and a cussin
      Fillin Kids with Robotussin
      While prohibition just don’t feel right
      Teens are huffin and a puffin
      An theyre listenin to nothin
      At the DARE program tonight…
      Now their brains are advancin
      With this weed theyre romancin
      And it looks like the ends in sight
      Voter initiative is sendin
      NIDA into surrendin
      And it looks like they lost a fight…

      So we were vapin and a smokin
      While the DEA is chokin
      For bad high-teen soundbite
      But all the seizures its a curin
      And the soldiers its a lurin
      From an opiate suicide
      Is finally confrontin
      All the taxes NIDA’s huntin
      On a fact that they can’t deny…

      Cannabis is Medicine
      Prohibition is a Sin
      And it looks like they lost a fight…

    7. Julian says:

      All my lyrics are open source to be shared, neither bought nor sold, just as U.S. patent 6630507 for cannabinoids as neuroprotectants owned by the Department of Health and Human Services must be. “Let them have weed!”

    8. bobwv says:


    9. Ronnie says:

      Thats why its impossible to overdose

    10. The aparent outsider. says:


      Try being a parent, and taking responsibility for the manor you raise your children.