Starting age of marijuana use may have long-term effects on brain development — MAY BE BULLSHIT

Posted: February 11, 2016 in Bad Science, Brain, Cannabis, government, health, hemp, Marijuana
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The age at which an adolescent begins using marijuana may affect typical brain development, according to researchers. Scientists describe how marijuana use, and the age at which use is initiated, may adversely alter brain structures that underlie higher order thinking.

Source: Starting age of marijuana use may have long-term effects on brain development — ScienceDaily

This is yet another example of a “meta-study” with causality not demonstrated.  They sought out heavy cannabis users among teenagers and compared them with non-users, and noted a difference, which they ASSUME to be CAUSED by the cannabis.  But, could they have an underlying condition that CAUSED them to seek cannabis?  This is what’s wrong with confusing correlation with causality.  Let me explain.

Suppose that every time I sneezed, the stock market dropped a few points.  Analyzing my sneezes with the stock market might correlate 100%, but did my sneezing cause the stock market to drop?  Of course not, but it correlates perfectly.

Suppose a kid has a low IQ or lives in an abusive home.  That kid might be drawn to a chemical escape, like alcohol, cannabis, or even tobacco, not to mention prescription drugs.  In this case, the kid’s situation is the causal factor; the intoxicants didn’t cause the low IQ or abusive parents.  The teens in this study could have these brain differences that CAUSE them to seek intoxicants/escapes, yet these “scientists” immediately jump to the conclusion that it was the cannabis use that caused the brain changes.

We can’t rule out that this MIGHT be true, but this study certainly does not demonstrate that.

AuntieBS

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