Researchers behind a new study claim that we should be careful about accepting cannabis into society because there is a possibility that smoking it might make you walk funny.
A new Australian article published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence looks at how your gait may change depending on whether you imbibe the weed.
The scientists from down under studied the walks of 22 cannabis users and 22 non-cannabis users. They found an alarming discovery. As per the study:
“Cannabis users exhibit increased angular velocity of the knee during walking gait. Cannabis users exhibit reduced shoulder flexion during walking gait.”
Now that might not sound like too dire a problem, until you hear from the researchers behind the study.
“The main take away message is that use of cannabis can result in subtle changes in the way that you move,” study co-author Verity Pearson-Dennett, of the University of South Australia, told PsyPost.
“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,” Pearson-Dennett elaborated.
That is true. The full range of effects from regular cannabis use have not yet been studied. But Pearson-Dennet hasn’t really studied them either. Not only did researchers use an astoundingly small sample size, their data is pretty iffy.
First of all, they define a cannabis user as someone who has consumed the drug on more than five occasions. Not all of the 22 subjects who had used marijuana more than five times even exhibited the change in gait.
But the researchers had an answer for that. “However, many of the participants in the cannabis group were moderate-to-light cannabis users,” Pearson-Dennett said, “therefore heavier cannabis users may have greater impairments.”
So, the opinion of these Ozzie researchers is that smoking weed more than five times sort of makes you walk differently, maybe, based on the study of 22 people. Therefore, we should be wary before opening our hearts to mama ganja. I’d be more wary of scientists who jump to conclusions and grasp at straws, though.