Smoking Cannabis Before Puberty may cause Stunted Growth in Boys

Smoking Cannabis Before Puberty may cause Stunted Growth in Boys

According to the findings of several studies, young boys who use cannabis before they enter puberty may have slower growth than their peers who do not use cannabis.

Scientists from Pakistan conducted a study on the hormones that were present in the blood of 437 boys, 217 of whom had used cannabis on a regular basis prior to reaching puberty.

The researchers discovered that males who used drugs had greater levels of hormones associated with puberty, such as testosterone, but their levels of growth hormones were lower.

By the age of 20, those who did not use cannabis were on average 4.6 inches (11.6 cm) taller and weighed 4 kilograms (8.8 pounds) more than those who smoked.

A further discovery made by the researchers was that the levels of the stress hormone cortisol were much greater in the saliva samples taken from males who used cannabis.

“Marijuana use may provoke stress responses resulting in stimulation of pubertal development and suppression of growth rate,” the researchers said in a paper. They were lead by Dr. Syed Rizvi, who is affiliated with the Pir Mehr Ali Shah Agriculture University in Rawalpindi.

The number of people in Europe who have used cannabis at least once in their lives is estimated to be 80.5 million.

The most recent study from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) indicates that the largest incidence of marijuana usage is among males between the ages of 15 and 24.

“Early puberty is associated with younger age onset of drinking and smoking,” Dr. Rizvi said. “Early matures have higher levels of substance abuse because they enter the risk period at an early level of emotional maturity.” Early puberty is connected with younger age onset of drinking and smoking.


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