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New Study Found Link Between Intelligence, Cannabis Use In Teens

Update Date: Feb 26, 2017 08:00 AM EST

A new study has found that highly intelligent children at the age of 11 are more likely to smoke weed in their late adolescence compared to those with low academic ability. The new study was published in the journal BMJ Open.

Researchers from the University College London examined school records of more than 6,000 children. Researchers observed their usage of pot, alcohol and cigarettes. They were closely monitored from their 19th to 20th year.

Their analysis showed that children of medium academic ability at age 11 were more likely to go on to be either persistent or occasional users of marijuana. This was the case for early adolescence in the age of 13 to 17 years of old and in late adolescence aging 18 to 20 years old.

Their rate of marijuana use was 25 percent more than the average rate among high school students. But marijuana use among the intellectually gifted was 50 percent more common according to The Marshal Town.

Test results were less certain for children with high academic ability at age 11.  They were more likely than the low ability children to use marijuana in early adolescence. For the period between 18 and 20 years, the high ability group was significantly more likely to be either occasional or persistent users of marijuana than the low ability group.

According to The Conversation the authors agree that the findings do not clearly identify why there is a link between academic ability and cannabis use in adolescence. Possibilities are low academic ability could be related to low awareness of exploring new experiences and a lesser willingness to challenge society's orthodox beliefs compared to children of medium and high ability.

If these new findings prompt us to think in a new way about the relationship between intelligence and cannabis use in adolescence, then they will have served a very important purpose.

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