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Can getting high make you short? A new study raises the question

Technically Incorrect: A study out of Pakistan suggests a significant height difference between boys who regularly smoke pot before puberty and those who've never smoked it.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Maybe they should call it getting low?
Maybe they should call it getting low? Cannabinoid Research/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Is there a correlation between causation and correlation?

Does pot stunt your growth?

These are two sentences from my "Sentences I Have to Write One Day" file that have today found their day.

I have, you see, been informed of a scientific study that examined 220 pot-abstaining boys and 217 who were described as addicted to the weed.

Performed by researchers at the Pir Mehr Ali Shah Agricultural University in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, it reached a slightly numbing conclusion: boys who habitually smoke pot before puberty are on average 4.6 inches shorter, by the time they turn 20, than those who've never smoked weed.

As Science Daily reports, the study was presented at the European Congress of Endocrinology in Dublin, where some attendees surely found it fascinating.

Not only were the non pot-smokers taller, they were also heavier by 4 kilograms (almost 9 pounds).

The researchers said they found increased levels of testosterone and luteinising hormone (LH) in the smokers -- hormones that help accelerate puberty -- as well as decreased levels of growth hormone.

They also looked at the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in 10 heavy pot smokers and found an increase. Dr. Syed Shakeel Raza Rizvi, the research team leader, suggested that cannabis use could trigger a stress response that brings on puberty and simultaneously stunts growth.

Clearly, more research is needed when the conclusions are potentially startling and bear serious implications for human development.

As marijuana laws become ever more relaxed, there will be more questions about the drug's chemical effects.

In this case, it's unclear why the research was limited to boys. Would the same effects be observed with girls?

Still, perhaps this layman can conclude there are many things best left until after puberty. Pot may well be one of them.