Boys who smoke cannabis before puberty grow 4 inches shorter, study suggests
Smoking marijuana has been known to aid several medical conditions, but a recent study suggests that it may stunt growth for pre-adolescent boys.
According to scientists from the Pir Mehr Ali Shah Agriculture University Rawalpindi in Pakistan, youngsters who smoked the cannabis at a young age were deemed to be shorter than their non-smoking counterparts.
“Marijuana use may provoke a stress response that stimulates onset of puberty but suppresses growth rate,” Dr Syed Shakeel Raza Rizvi, the study leader, told The Telegraph.
The alarming statistics were based from data coming from the blood of 220 non-smoking and 217 marijuana-addicted boys.
As it turns out, levels of puberty-related hormones such as testosterone and luteinising hormone (LH) were tightened in the smoking group. However, their growth hormone levels were surprisingly lower than the other group.
Furthermore, researchers claimed that non-smoking boys were on average four kilos heavier and 4.6 inches taller by the time they reached 20 years old.
Meanwhile, Dr. Rivzi said the findings also indicate a far bigger problem than growth spurts.
“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 explained. Khristian Ibarrola /ra