Alcohol Damages Teens’ Brains, But Marijuana Does Not, Study Reveals

Be sure to talk to your kids about staying safe by hanging with the stoners, not the frat bros. Medical Daily reports:

Perhaps in response to the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington last month, more teens are lighting up than ever before. However, one study suggests that parents have less to fear from marijuana than from alcohol. The study found that while marijuana had no effect on the health of teenagers’ brain tissue, alcohol did.

The researchers, from the University of California, San Diego and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, performed the study on 92 16- to 20-year-olds. The researchers found that, after a year and a half, kids who had drank five or more alcoholic beverages twice a week had lost white brain matter. That means that they could have impaired memory, attention, and decision-making into adulthood. The teens that smoked marijuana on a regular basis had no such reduction.

Two studies earlier this year linked marijuana with lower IQ scores and reduced white matter in the brain. However, Duncan Clark, a doctor who was unaffiliated with the study, said that previous studies simply administered brain scans one time. This study, on the other hand, which administered brain scans both before and after substance use, can more accurately depict the effect that these substances have on the brain.

6 Comments on "Alcohol Damages Teens’ Brains, But Marijuana Does Not, Study Reveals"

  1. Aside from alcohol… in our High School, we had a kid who would do every inhalant he could lay his hands on. By his Junior year, he was punch drunk- slurred speech and very bad eye vision even when he wasn’t stoned. I’m 100% convinced he would’ve been better off just smoking (or, today, vaporizing) reefer. He served as our Bad Example.

  2. expothead | Jan 10, 2013 at 4:15 pm |

    Um… maybe marijuana doesn’t damage brain tissue, but smoking pot as a teen can lead to other organic and chemical changes in the brain which are just as dangerous. Check out the many studies linking early teen pot smoking to schizophrenia. Pot can be a lot of fun, but it isn’t always harmless, and not just for teens, as I discovered in my late 20s after smoking for more than ten years.

    • Henry Yarborough | Feb 21, 2014 at 1:23 pm |

      Not entirely true. The studies I read indicate possible problems if the individual may be prone to mental problems already. AFAIK, nothing is entirely harmless. More people have died from drinking water than smoking weed. IMO the benefits far out weight the few problems found so far.

  3. Thad McKraken | Jan 11, 2013 at 10:47 am |

    Good point but here’s the thing. ALCOHOL IS FUCKING LEGAL. I work at a large corporation. We have parties where alcohol is jammed down our throats…at work. Second company I’ve worked for like that. I started drinking at age 14 (didn’t start smoking pot until I was like 17-18). We’re also talking about brain development here, not stupid behavior development. I have a simple equation, take all the stupid shit I’ve done on all the illegal drugs I’ve done (which is quite a bit, never tried meth, heroin or DMT, but pretty much everything else), multiply that number by a thousand, and that’s the amount of stupid shit I’ve done while I’m drunk. And yeah, so many kids have “schizophrenic tendencies”. Not really. Also, “schizophrenic tendencies” might get you a job in Hollywood or in the video game industry. Some people call it creativity.

  4. Ted Heistman | Jan 11, 2013 at 4:46 pm |

    …but if you are in your 30’s, 40’s or 50’s and you smoke weed with teeny boppers you are still a loser.

    • And it doesn’t make you appear as much less of a loser if you drink. not much of a difference.. besides, what are the death rates of marijuana per year? i’d have to say UH, ZERO. JUST A POINT — People become too stereotypical with stoner’s its unbelievable. If it’s not your choice of life, then why and try to put your head in someone else’s ass? It’s bad enough that people who would like to legally enjoy smoking a joint, eating cookies, and play with their dog aren’t even legally allowed to in their yard. Now tell me how much harm has smoking pot caused you? zero? how about deaths in your family? i’d honestly like to know, Just something to think about to people who are considering it shouldn’t be legal. We all should take a little peace out of what we enjoy – and more importantly if it grows straight from the ground. I don’t know how to make it more simple to you all.

      Thanks for reading. 🙂 Toke up my friends

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