Children of Teen Marijuana Users More Likely to Abuse Drugs, Research Suggests

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According to a recent National Institutes of Health-funded study, mothers using marijuana during their teen years may have a greater likelihood of giving birth to children who will eventually abuse drugs than mothers who do not use marijuana as teenagers.

The report, published by the Journal of Psychopharmacology, was based on a study that involved exposing adolescent rats to a cannabinoid substance (which researchers say produces an effect similar to marijuana’s active ingredient, THC) over a three-day period.

After mating as adults, the male offspring of the exposed rats were compared to a control group to determine whether the animals displayed a preference for either saline or morphine.

The results of the experiment indicated that the rats with mothers that had been exposed to the cannabinoid substance were much likelier to prefer morphine than the rats whose mothers had not been briefly exposed to the same cannabinoid substances during their adolescence periods.

Researchers said that offspring of the rats exposed to the cannabinoid substance demonstrated a greater sensitivity to morphine in conditioned place preference tests, suggesting that drug use in adolescence may trigger trans-generational effects.

The report produced results similar to a study published in 2011 in Behavioural Brain Research, which suggested that adolescent rats exposed to morphine were likelier to give birth to offspring with a preference for opiates. Other research, including a 2009 Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse report, has indicated that women exposed to cannabinoid substances during pregnancy could potentially affect their children’s development, including impairing their cognitive skills and increasing their likelihood of developing anxiety and depression.

The researchers say that since both opioid and cannabinoid systems develop during adolescence, early maternal exposure to cannabinoids could result in offspring with a greater preference for the drugs.

In an article published by Science Daily, the lead author of the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine report, John J. Byrnes, said that further research is necessary before a conclusive link between teen drug use and developmental effects on children birthed during the mother’s twenties can be established.

“We acknowledge that we are using rodent models, which may not fully translate to the human condition,” he said. “Nevertheless, the results suggest that maternal drug use, even prior to pregnancy, can impact future offspring.”

3 thoughts on “Children of Teen Marijuana Users More Likely to Abuse Drugs, Research Suggests

  1. This study only proves that rats like morphine. Rats like cheese, too. Perhaps offspring of rats fed cheese during pregnancy show a preference for swiss over cheddar? A more accurate title of this article would be: “Offspring of Teen Marijuana Rats More Likely to Abuse Morphine, Research Suggests.”

    Another “brilliant”study which was used to perpetuate lies about marijuana:

    The Heath “Voodoo” Research methodology, as reported in Playboy: Rhesus monkeys were strapped into a chair and then strapped into gas masks and given the equivalent of 63 Colombian strength joints in “five minutes, thru the gas masks” losing no smoke. The monkeys were suffocating!

    When NORML/Playboy hired researchers to examine the reported results against the actual methodology, the laughed.

    They discovered, almost immediately, that Heath had completely (intentionally? incompetently?) omited, among other things, the carbon monoxide the monkeys inhaled during these intervals of 63 joints in five minutes…

    Carbon monoxide is a deadly gas that kills brain cells and is given off by any burning object. All researchers found the marijuana findings in Heath’s experiment to be of no value, because carbon monoxide poisoning and other factors involved were totally left out of the report.

    Three to five minutes of oxygen deprivation causes brain damage, i.e. “dead brain cells” (Red Cross Livesaving and Water Safety manual).

    The Heath Monkey study was actually a study in animal asphyxiation and carbon monoxide poisoning.

  2. You ought to be ashamed of yourself for posting something like this. The tests were done with rats for crying out loud come on. People are not that dumb anymore, your gonna have to try better than that. What a waste of cyber space. tsk tsk.

  3. This is the most asinine study I’ve ever heard of… first off, it’s probably safe to say ALL kids of teenagers are more apt to use drugs when they get older because of the immaturity and lack of parenting skills teenagers tend to have. This study is over reaching and is a total disconnect of what its conclusions suggest.