Health Risks of Using Cannabis are Higher in Adolescents Than in Adults

The following is excerpted from an online article posted by MedicalXpress.

Using cannabis on a regular basis may be significantly more dangerous for adolescents than adults, with adolescents showing higher levels of cannabis use disorder and reporting greater negative impacts on daily functioning than adults, in a new study led by the University of Bath in the UK.

The study, published in the European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, is a collaboration between the University of Bath, Kings College London and University College London.

It’s the first to show that the quantity and strength of cannabis consumed does not account for the increased vulnerability to cannabis use disorder seen in young people.

For the study, 70 adults (aged 26 to 29) and 76 adolescents (aged 16 to 17)—all frequently using cannabis—were assessed every three months over the course of a year.

“Our analysis shows that adolescents scored consistently higher on a measure of cannabis use disorder symptoms over a 12-month period, compared to adults,” said study first author Dr. Rachel Lees.

Most people who use cannabis will not experience serious long-term harms; however, around a quarter are thought to develop a cannabis use disorder, with adolescents showing greater vulnerability.

Dr. Lees said, “We found that 70% of the adolescents reported having failed to do what was normally expected of them because of using cannabis, whereas only 20% of the adults reported having experienced this. Also, 80% of the adolescents reported devoting a great deal of time to getting, using or recovering from cannabis use, compared to 50% of the adults.

“This is concerning as this group may not be aware of the symptoms of cannabis use disorder and may perceive cannabis to be associated with a low level of risk for harm.”

Source: MedicalXpress

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[reposted by] Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has 40 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord culture blog also appears on and Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

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