Scientists have spent a lot of time studying all possible effects of alcohol and marijuana on teens and children. The recent research showed that the combination of these two substances could lead to a decline in college performance and grades in students.
A new study conducted by a research group from the Institute of Living in Hartford and the Yale School of Medicine proved that students who consumed both alcohol and marijuana usually had lower grades than those who had little of either substance or just abstained. Over 1,100 college students took part in the research over a two-year period. The researchers monitored their grades while students self-reported the use of weed and alcohol. College students were the key focus group of the study since they belong to the age range that demonstrates the highest rates of alcohol and cannabis consumption.
According to Shashwath Meda, one of the authors of the new research, there have been numerous studies that investigated the influence of alcohol and cannabis separately. However, there is a lack of information on how a combination of these two substances can affect academic performance.
The students were put into several groups: those who only drank alcohol; those who used both alcohol and cannabis, and those who consumed little or none of either. The number of students who used only marijuana was too low for making any conclusions.
The results of the study showed that those who drank a lot of alcohol but consumed little cannabis maintained the same GPA they had before, unlike the group that heavily used both substances. However, those students that later decided to limit their consumption of alcohol and marijuana were able to recover and improve their college performance in the following semesters.
It is also worth mentioning that students did not move between groups since those who had not consumed weed or alcohol were unlikely to begin using the substances. The same goes for the students who drank only alcohol: they were unlikely to start smoking cannabis.
The research also showed that students who consumed both pot and alcohol had the lowest grades—an average GPA of 2.66. College students who drank only alcohol had an average GPA of 3.03, while their barely smoking or drinking counterparts had about 3.10.
The scientists believe that the results of the new study will promote awareness among students and help them understand that heavy use of both cannabis and alcohol can cause serious effects.