People with higher IQ’s are more likely to start consuming cannabis by the age of 30, a study reveals.
Is the stereotype about the pot smokers real or not? Are people who smoke weed really smarter than other?
A longitudinal study carried out by the Department of Child Health, Bristol University and the Joint Centre for Longitudinal Research proved the point and showed that high childhood IQ may increase the risk of drug use in adolescence and adulthood.
The research was conducted with the help from 1970 British Cohort Study, a major longitudinal study that has surveyed the health, education and socio-economic position of a group of British births from one particular week in 1970.
The research was published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
“Although most studies have suggested that higher child or adolescent IQ prompts the adoption of a healthy lifestyle as an adult, other studies have linked higher childhood IQ scores to excess alcohol intake and alcohol dependency in adulthood,” write the authors.
Researchers tested the IQ’s of approximately 8000 British children at the age of 5 and 10 years old in 1970. After several years, they went to the same people, now aged 16 and 30 years.
The scientists measured the presence of physiological distress, potential anxiety and depression disorders, educational level, parental social class, potential drug usage as well as additional varieties of factors that would influence their life over the years and examined their personality.
By the time the subjects reached 30 years old, the results extended to a much more intriguing level. One in 3 men and one in 6 women have used pot within the last year.
It turned out that men and women with high IQ scores at the age of 5 were 50% more likely to be in the marijuana-using population by the time they reached 30.
And apparently, the brainy ladies were using a lot more than the dudes.
Anyhow, scientists still don’t have the absolute answer to why individuals with high IQ’s are prone to drugs.
They believe that these smarty-pants are using it as a coping mechanism for many years of bullying as well as the social exclusion for being smart.
Or perhaps it’s because smart people have deep cravings for novel experiences and new sensations.
“The likely mechanism is openness to experience,” James White concludes, “and, I think, it’s also this idea of having an educated view of risk as well.”
Furthermore, on the same matter, a study from 2010 showed that cannabis users might perform better at semantic memory tasks, or in other words, the brain would connect related words more easily.
However, another one stated the exact opposite and revealed despite helping you perform better, in the long run cannabis use can make you less motivated.
Excessive marijuana use will make it hard to activate the reward system.
The chemical messenger in the brain also known as dopamine will be blunted by the cannabinoids. As a result, the body will fail to give you that “get up and get going” type of motivation that you need.
In conclusion, despite the effect marijuana has on different individuals and no matter the subjective reason behind consuming cannabis, the one thing we’re certain of is that: “It certainly rules out the argument that the only reason people take illegal drugs is to self-medicate,” says White.
Make sure to consume responsibly and wisely!