Marijuana in Middle Age: Two Interesting Studies
Attention middle-age marijuana users: you now have one more piece of ammunition to use against people who say that marijuana use is making you slow.
According to a study published last year in the American Journal of Epidemiology, moderate marijuana use, both past and current, has no long-term effects on cognitive function and memory. Of the 9,000 adults around the age of 42 that were surveyed, those that had used drugs in the past (even the recent past) scored equal to or slightly better than those who had never used any drugs when tested at age 50.
“Overall, at the population level, the results seem to suggest that past or even current illicit drug use is not necessarily associated with impaired cognitive functioning in early middle age,” said lead researcher, Dr. Alex Dregan, of King’s College London.
That is certainly good news, especially for the more than 17 million regular marijuana users in the United States. However, it is important to differentiate between users and abusers, especially considering that harder drugs were included in the survey. Dr. Dregan goes on to say:
“However,” he told Reuters Health in an email, “our results do not exclude possible harmful effects in some individuals who may be heavily exposed to drugs over longer periods of time.”
It seems safe to say we can add this study to the others showing that cognitive impairment from marijuana is only temporary and will not, as they say, make you dumb.
Another study that this demographic should find interesting was published last year in the Journal of Analytic Toxicology. Many people in this age group often worry that a failed drug test could jeopardize their jobs or put their families at risk. According to this study, zinc is very effective at interfering with standard urine test accuracy when it comes to detecting marijuana and two other drugs. It is also basically untraceable.
Both zinc sulfate and zinc supplements are effective in interfering with the detection of all three drugs by Immunalysis drug detection kits. Also, no suitable method could be established to detect zinc in urine samples. Zinc can be an effective adulterant in urine for some illicit drugs that are commonly screened under routine drug testing.
This information is intended to be educational, and one should certainly never risk his or her employment based on something read in a blog. The noblest option is to tell any employers requesting a drug test that the content of one’s urine has nothing to do with the quality of one’s work. Unfortunately, most people don’t have the luxury of picking and choosing from jobs these days, so this study could provide some food for thought.
- courtesy of Marijuana Policy Project