Study: Smart Teens More Likely to Smoke Cannabis

By David Jenison on September 26, 2017

The BMJ Open journal recently published the findings of a University College London study that looked at academic achievement in relation to alcohol, cannabis and tobacco use. While the smart teen was more likely to pass on cigarette smoking, the study noted, "High academic ability was positively associated with occasional and persistent cannabis use in late adolescence." More specifically, the smarter students were 50 percent more likely to consume cannabis occasionally and twice as likely to consume it regularly compared to their less-academic peers. 

To reach this conclusion, the researchers examined academic achievement at age 11 for 6,059 young Brits and then analyzed behavioral data on an annual basis between the ages of 13 and 20. 

The authors also said the evidence counters "the hypothesis that high academic ability is associated with temporary 'experimentation' with substance use." Other studies found a correlation between cannabis highs and intellectual highs, but some people write off the connection as brief experimentation. The findings here show that some high-performing youth do experiment, but others adopt cannabis as a regular part of their lifestyle. 

PRØHBTD strongly recommends that young people abstain from drinking alcohol or smoking cannabis and cigarettes during adolescence. This recommendation is based on preliminary findings that suggest psychoactive substances can potentially affect developing brains, though obviously no teen should endure criminal punishment for doing so. Nevertheless, this is yet another study that dismisses the myth that cannabis makes people lazy and stupid. 

Image by Justin Wolfe/Flickr.

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