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Marijuana might not be as harmful as it seems

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For all the wisdom words you get against the consumption of marijuana, they stand no chance as a recent study shows that the drug might not harm you much in later stages of your life.

This divergent finding of US researchers is the first of its kind, as it expects to yoke teen marijuana usage and psychotic symptoms in the later stages of life.

The drug is already legal in four US states, with Oregon following Alaska, Colorado and Washington.

DENVER, CO - APRIL 20: An estimated 10,000 people are expected to gather in Civic Center Park in Denver, Colorado on April 20, 2012 to celebrate the state's Medicinal Marijuana laws and collectively light up at 4:20pm. On Nov. 6, Colorado may become the first state to legalize marijuana with the passing of Amendment 64, a controversial ballot initiative that would permit up to 1 ounce of possession for those 21 and older. (Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Person

“There were no differences in any of the mental or physical health outcomes that we measured, regardless of the amount or frequency of marijuana used during adolescence,” said the lead researcher, Jordan Bechtold, PhD, a psychology research fellow at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

The study began surveying 14-year-oldmale Pittsburgh public school students.  These young men were followed for 12 years by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Rutgers University to analyze various health issues.

The study included 22% of men who were chronic users of marijuana and showed almost the same signs like anxiety, asthma and depression in comparison to the infrequent users or non-smokers.

“We wanted to help inform the debate about legalization of marijuana, but it’s a highly complicated issue and one study should not be taken in isolation,” said Dr Bechtold.The researchers accentuate the fact that the study cannot be taken with certitude as women were not a part of this study and men above the age of 30 weren’t examined.

A petition calling for the total legalization of this drug in UK has been signed by more than 125,000 people. Campaigners assert that, legalization of marijuana would bring in £900m in taxes every year, save £400m on policing cannabis and create over 10,000 new jobs.

 

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Affects of Prenatal Marijuana on Baby

If you smoke marijuana during your pregnancy, your baby could be at high risk of being born with a low birth weight as well as influencing behavior problems, researchers have warned. The findings, published in the journal Child Development, suggests that prenatal marijuana use can have consequences on infant's weight and can influence behavior problems, especially when combined with tobacco use.

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The infants' irritability and frustration is also linked to mothers who experienced higher levels of stress while pregnant.
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If you smoke marijuana during your pregnancy, your baby could be at high risk of being born with a low birth weight as well as influencing behavior problems, researchers have warned.

The findings, published in the journal Child Development, suggests that prenatal marijuana use can have consequences on infant’s weight and can influence behavior problems, especially when combined with tobacco use.

The researchers found that infants who had been exposed to both tobacco and marijuana, especially into the third trimester, were smaller in length, weight and head size.

They were more likely to be born earlier, compared to babies who were not exposed to anything, the researcher said.

They were more likely to be born earlier, compared to babies who were not exposed to anything, the researcher said
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“We also found that lower birth weight and size predicted a baby’s behavior in later infancy,” said co-author Rina Das Eiden from the University at Buffalo in New York.

“Babies who were smaller were reported by their mothers to be more irritable, more easily frustrated and had greater difficulty calming themselves when frustrated. Thus, there was an indirect association between co-exposure to tobacco and marijuana and infant behavior via poor growth at delivery,” Eiden added.

For the study, the researchers recruited nearly 250 infants and their mothers. Of these, 173 of the infants had been exposed to tobacco or marijuana during their mothers’ pregnancies. None were exposed to significant amounts of alcohol.

Women who showed symptoms of anger, hostility and aggression reported more stress during pregnancy and were more likely to continue using tobacco and marijuana throughout pregnancy, the researcher said.

Therefore, due to the co-exposure, they were more likely to give birth to infants smaller in size and who were more irritable and easily frustrated, the researchers added.

They were more likely to be born earlier, compared to babies who were not exposed to anything, the researcher said
Representational image, Pixabay

The infants’ irritability and frustration are also linked to mothers who experienced higher levels of stress while pregnant.

“Our results suggest that interventions with women who smoke cigarettes or use marijuana while pregnant should also focus on reducing stress and helping them cope with negative emotions,” Eiden said.

Also Read: Tips to Initiate a New Beginning for Couples Facing Fertility Issue  

“This may help reduce prenatal substance exposure and subsequent behavior problems in infants,” Eiden noted. (IANS)

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