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Drop the joint!—before it Drops YOU and your IQ

Scientists detected a link between recreational marijuana use and a greater chance among males in their early teens through their mid-30s of contracting a particularly dangerous form of testicular cancer -- non-seminoma tumors.

"The group that is at risk for developing these tumors is overwhelmingly young men. They should be looking and paying attention to changes in their testicles anyway." Further, the fellas' weed intake "might be something they would want to mention to their usual health-care provider."

The study analyzed 163 young men who self-reported recreational drug use and had been diagnosed with testicular cancer. Among those patients who acknowledged indulging in pot, just over half (51 percent) told medical researchers they puffed or ingested cannabis more than once per week.

The team then compared the illegal drug histories of those 163 afflicted men with the lifestyle habits of 292 healthy men of the same age and ethnicity. Inside the data, they saw that men who had used marijuana recreationally were twice as likely to develop mixed-germ-cell tumors, including the deadlier non-seminona tumors.

The researchers also invested a few words of their report to speak directly to the young men living in the 17 states where medicinal marijuana is legal, stating: "The findings suggest that the potential cancer-causing effects of marijuana on testicular cells should be considered not only in personal decisions regarding recreational drug use, but also when marijuana and its derivatives are used for therapeutic purposes."

Any person taking therapeutic drugs should know that all of those otherwise beneficial substances carry some health hazards. "If you're using (marijuana) medicinally, you should understand the risks and the benefits, just like any other therapy.

Head in the Clouds, IQ in the dirt

Teens who smoke marijuana frequently are more likely to experience a long-term drop in their IQ. That could be a potential pitfall for millions of teens, given one in 10 teens in grades nine through 12 smoke marijuana at least 20 times per month. The researchers however didn't find the same IQ dip for people who became frequent users of pot after 18, suggesting pot use is especially dangerous for the developing brain.

Researchers compared IQ scores at age 13 to the score at age 38 and found a drop only in those who had started regularly smoking pot by 18. Those deemed marijuana-dependent in three or more surveys had a drop averaging 8 points. If a person had average intelligence and was smarter than 50 percent of the population, dropping 8 points would give them a score only higher than 29 percent of the population, the researchers said.

Among participants who'd been dependent at 18 and in at least one later survey, quitting didn't remove the problem. IQ declines showed up even if they'd largely or entirely quit using pot at age 38.

"Marijuana is very dangerous drug to the brain, particularly in adolescence, and it's also a carcinogen, so it's not healthy for adults either. It's much more dangerous than we've ever given it credit for."

Article Sources:

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/48969102/ns/health-mens_health/#.UWx7qMrYCSo

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-57501243-10391704/smoking-marijuana-regularly-as-a-teen-may-lower-iq-scores-as-an-adult/

 

 

 

 

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