Weed and Cigarettes Makes to Struggles with Grades?

Students who use both tobacco and cannabis together reported lower grades
Students who use both tobacco and cannabis together reported lower grades. Credit | Getty images

United States – High school students who use both tobacco and cannabis products attend school less and have lower grades with them than their friends who use them separately or not at all.

It is the result of a study carried out by scholars at UC Davis Health.

Combination Use and Academic Performance

“Substance use is a main predictor of educational outcomes, including absenteeism,” said first study author Melanie Dove, an assistant adjunct professor of public health sciences at UC Davis. “These results highlight the need for comprehensive efforts to prevent and reduce substance use from both cannabis and tobacco products among youth.”

Hence, with this research, her team reviewed 2021-22 data from the California Healthy Kids Survey in 2022. It involved more than 287,600 ninth—and eleventh-grade pupils, as reported by HealthDay.

Of that group:

  • 3.7% used tobacco and cannabis
  • 3.7% used cannabis only
  • 1.7% used tobacco only

Impact on Attendance and Grades

Children who combined the two drugs missed three days of school over the past month, more than double the number of children who didn’t use both products.

Their grades suffered, too.

On the scale from One to Eight, with 8 considered as A’s and 1 as F’s, non-users averaged approximately 6.2, which mostly falls in the B category. Different from dual users, double users enjoyed an average of 5.1 (mostly Bs and Cs) based on the survey results.

Non-users who stayed away from all substances are at the top of the ladder in their academic performance, they are followed by those users who used any one substance. Smokers reported NTC-5.6; cannabis users about 5.5 – mostly B’s; both groups.

Our results were recently detailed in an article online in the Journal of Pediatrics.

The study co-author highlighted a recent report written by the U.S. Surgeon General, which accounted for how young people’s pitches (i.e., the forming of new habits) during their brain still development can lead to a higher rate of developing addictions.

Risk Factors and Health Concerns

Visual Representation | Credit : Shutterstock

“We know that using tobacco and cannabis puts young people at risk for longer-term addiction, behavioral issues, and respiratory health problems,” said Dr. Elisa Tong, director of the Tobacco Cessation Policy Research Center at UC Davis.

“For young people who are not current users but are exposed to use by others, the aerosol from these products is not harmless and contains potentially harmful chemicals, heavy metals, and fine particulates,” she added in a UC Davis news release.

However, researchers highlighted several study limitations.

Study Limitations and Varied Findings

The results that are obtained in this study resemble those of the 2022 California Youth Tobacco Survey, which has some striking differences. In that study, 6.6% of students admitted they use tobacco products, but this is clearly a much higher number compared with the result of the present study. Still, this is much lower than the national average, which stands at 12.6%, as reported by HealthDay.