If You’re Still Smoking Weed At 30, Scientists Have Bad News For You

Most of us go through periods of experimentation with drugs of some kind when we’re young. Smoking weed isn’t the big taboo it once was. In fact, it’s legal recreationally in many U.S. states, and its benefits are becoming more widely studied by the day. However, there does come a certain point when a person’s love for waking and baking (or simply baking all day long) becomes detrimental. A new study suggests that you’ll need to stop smoking weed by 30 if you don’t want it to affect you negatively.

1. The study was published in the peer-reviewed journal

Addiction Research & Theory. Researchers from the University of New South Wales School of Medicine in Australia surveyed 2,350 people about how much weed they smoked and how many amphetamines they used when they were 21. The respondents were contacted again when they were 30, and those who stopped all drug use were doing really well. Just as well, in fact, as those who’d never done drugs at all.

2. So, what does that mean?

On the surface, it appears as though the study is saying that doing drugs is totally harmless until you turn 30. However, that’s not necessarily the case. Addiction is a serious problem that can happen at any age. And while many would argue that weed isn’t physically addictive, data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse suggests that those who start smoking before age 18 are anywhere from four to seven times more likely to have what’s known as a “marijuana use disorder.” In other words, a form of psychological addiction. Just because it may look different than addiction to drugs like heroin or cocaine doesn’t mean it’s entirely harmless.

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4. Of course, it’s not all bad news.

The World Health Organization estimates that about 147 million people, or 2.5% of the world’s population, smokes weed. Clearly, most of those people are high-functioning, successful, happy, healthy members of society. There’s nothing to suggest that enjoying a joint on the weekend or hitting up a coffee shop when you’re on vacation in Amsterdam is going to ruin your life.

5. If you do stop smoking weed, there are some benefits that you’ll experience.

In addition to being just as successful as non-drug users, there’s more. Your lungs will recover, leading to better respiratory health, per the American Lung Association. Given that research has discovered that weed smokers are even more likely to develop lung disease than cigarette smokers, per a new study published in Radiology, this is one of the best benefits of deciding to quit smoking. In addition, you’ll have higher cognitive function, better heart health, and will be less prone to mental health issues. Just something to think about!

Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill