Marijuana users walk differently than non-users, according to a new study, as researchers call for more studies of this nature because of the legalization of marijuana across the United States.
Their findings were published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence. While researchers still say that more studies need to be conducted to figure out how marijuana affects a person’s movement, the walk definitely changes with use. The study, from the University of South Australia, found that there are differences between the way marijuana users and non-users walk.
Smoking pot can affect the way your knees, elbows, and shoulders move when you are walking, according to a new study. Differences in a marijuana user and nonuser’s movements were detected, but there were no significant differences between the balancing abilities and neurological functions of users and non-users.
The marijuana users and nonusers that the researchers studied were mostly in their twenties. The 44 participants – 22 from each camp – completed screening tests, gait and balance tests and clinical neurological examinations of movement.
Their gait and balance tests involved motion capture systems.
A marijuana user’s knee reaches a greater speed when they walk than a nonuser’s knee does while walking.
Their elbows were also more flexible when they walked and their shoulders were less flexible.
The study suggests that cannabis use is linked to changes in a person’s gait but it said that the changes are not clinically detectable. –Daily Mail
Researchers want to study the effects of marijuana on a human’s movement more, and they would like to test aging and different levels of marijuana use as well. The author of the study, Verity Pearson-Dennett told PsyPost, that “the changes in walking were small enough that a neurologist specializing in movement disorders was not able to detect changes in all of the cannabis users.” Pearson-Dennett added, “The main takeaway message is that use of cannabis can result in subtle changes in the way you move.”
“Most of the research on illicit drug use focuses on long-term changes in cognition and psychological well-being,” he explained. “Illicit drugs exert their effects by changing the levels of neurotransmitters in the ‘pleasure centers’ of the brain, but these neurotransmitters are also very important in movement.” Pearson-Dennett also said, “It is, therefore, possible that these drugs may impact the way we move. It is important to fully understand the long-term effects of cannabis use, particularly given the move to decriminalize use in many countries and the growing tolerance to use of cannabis.”
Instead of studying how marijuana can help humanity, and the cures that could come from that research, people have decided to find out if using cannabis causes one to walk or move differently. But at least some are actually studying cannabis now, which could be a step in the right direction – toward healing ailments with a naturally occurring plant.
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Contributed by Dawn Luger of The Daily Sheeple.