Weeding out your significant other? The effect of marijuana on relationships

February 26, 2012 in Drug Rehab News by admin  |  4 Comments

Being young involves quite a bit of exciting change. There’s the end of high-school, the start of college and some measure of independence, and a whole slew of new experiences.

A recent study conducted by Judith Brooks at NYU School of Medicine has revealed that one of those experiences, smoking marijuana (weed) may be associated with more relationship conflict later in life. What’s amazing about this study is that the drug use here occurred earlier in life for most of the 534 participants, while the relationship trouble was assessed around their mid- to late-twenties.

Could other factors explain this finding?!
Now you may be thinking to yourself that there are a whole lot of other aspects of a person’s life that can affect their relationship quality and their probability of smoking weed in adolescence. You’d be right, but here’s what the researchers in this study ruled out as possible confounds (the scientific name for variables that obscure findings):

• Relationship with parents
• Aggressive tendencies
• adjustment difficulty
• gender
• education

Even after controlling for all of these things, smoking marijuana as a teen still predicted having less harmonious relationships later on in life.

All humor aside, this research is not saying that if you smoke weed you will definitely have a lower quality relationship later. What it does point out is that, on average, given a person with similar social skills, aggressive personality, and education, the one who smoked marijuana around their mid-teens is likely to have a less satisfying relationship.


Brook, J. S., Pahl, K., and Cohen, P. (2008). Associations between marijuana use during emerging adulthood and aspects of significant other relationship in young adulthood. Journal of Child and Family Studies, Vol 17, pg. 1-12.


Posted in Drug Rehab News.

4 Responses to Weeding out your significant other? The effect of marijuana on relationships

  1. Sylvia Dyer says:

    So far, this research shows only an association between smoking pot and developing psychosis or schizophrenia later on. That’s not the same thing as saying that marijuana causes psychosis.

    • Mac says:

      There may or may not be a direct causal relationship between psychosis and drug use, and especially marijuana use, but in my many years of working with clients that have tendencies towards mental health problems, marijuana hasn’t been a successful remedy for their symptoms, in fact, usually causing their symptoms to feel as though they have less control over their thoughts and feelings.
      I am happy that you wrote in about the article and I will try to find other articles that will help clarify this matter and post them as well.

  2. Is Marijuana addictive? Only to the extent that it dominates someone’s life and removes their freedom. If you take a look at heavy marijuana users or people who smoke regularly, you will see that they are making great sacrifices and taking big risks in order to continue to self medicate with the drug.

    • Mac says:

      I have been fighting this delusion for over 35 years and it is getting worse. At the first of this year, it became legal to sell marijuana for “recreational” use in Colorado and the shops that are retailing this drug can’t handle the demand. Our society is looking for an instant fix and is going to find out that regular and continued use of marijuana is going to give them more problems than they currently have and make them less able to confront and handle any of life’s challenges. It is dreadful problem that will end in predictable pain and suffering for users and society.
      Thanks so much for your comments and insight.

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