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.