Researchers at Pir Mehr Ali Shah Agriculture University Rawalpindi in Pakistan found boys who smoke marijuana through puberty will stunt their growth due to a decrease in growth hormone levels.
In recent times, medical experts have alluded to the medical advantages of marijuana. But it appears this can only be after a certain age as a study has shown that use of marijuana with teen boys can lead to stunted growth.
According to the study presented at the European Congress of Endocrinology in Dublin, Ireland, researchers at Pir Mehr Ali Shah Agriculture University Rawalpindi in Pakistan found boys who smoke marijuana through puberty will stunt their growth due to a decrease in growth hormone levels.
Speaking on the finding, Dr. Syed Shakeel Raza Rizvi, lead author of the study said:
"Early puberty is associated with younger age of onset of drinking and smoking, and early matures have higher levels of substance abuse because they enter the risk period at an early level of emotional maturity,”
He further said that "marijuana use may provoke a stress response that stimulates onset of puberty but suppresses growth rate,"
During the research, the group assessed puberty and growth-related hormones in the blood of 220 non-smoking and 217 marijuana-addicted boys.
The research team also examined the levels of the stress hormone cortisol through collecting saliva samples among 10 adult marijuana users.
It was then found that puberty-related hormones such as testosterone and luteinizing hormone (LH), increased among marijuana smokers. But growth hormones decreased in this group.
When researchers checked back in with the men at age 20, the non-smokers were on average 4 kilograms heavier and 4.6 inches taller than their marijuana-smoking counterparts.
According to MSN, the growing concerns over the effects of marijuana use on teens, surrounds the developing brain.
The mind-altering drug can disrupt the transition that takes place form the brain of a child into the brain of an adult by suppressing neurons in the hippocampus and causing learned behaviors to deteriorate.
Furthermore, a 2010 study published in the journal Clinical EEG and Neuroscience found the use of marijuana during the teen years negatively impacted brain structure volume, quality of white manner, and the ability to perform cognitive function.