Smoking marijuana in teens may affect verbal abilities

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Adolescents who smoke pot as early as 14 have decreased verbal abilities and are more likely to drop out of school than those who hold off until age 17 before lighting up their first joint, a new study has found.

The study found links between cannabis use and brain impairment only in the areas of verbal IQ and specific cognitive abilities related to frontal parts of the brain, particularly those that require learning by trial-and-error.

“We found that adolescents who started using cannabis at 17 or older performed equally well as adolescents who did not use cannabis,” said lead author Natalie Castellanos-Ryan, from University of Montreal (UdeM) in Canada.

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