How Can I Know If My IQ is Decreasing?

Answered on Quora.

It probably isn’t.

Even very heavy marijuana use in adulthood does not appear to decrease IQ, and I believe IQ may be preserved in heavy alcohol use also and even alcoholism, believe it or not. It’s pretty hard to permanently reduce your IQ.

IQ can go up or down by up to 15 points in adolescence. No one knows why this is. But once you hit adulthood, it’s pretty stable. You can change a lot of things about yourself, but in general, IQ’s not one of them. Be happy with your IQ score. If it’s low, it’s not your fault and you did not make it that way. If it’s high, thank God for the probably inborn gift and realize that you did nothing to give yourself that high IQ. You just lucked out in the
Genetic Lottery is all. There’s no point in feeling pride about something that was simply given to you and you did nothing to earn.

A recent study showed that people who used cannabis heavily before age 18 did show IQ declines of up to 7 points. But this study is now being questioned. It’s good advice to wait until you are 18 to use marijuana on a regular basis. There seems to be a lot of problems with using marijuana in adolescence that are not present when you wait until adulthood to start.

A lot of times say with heavy drug use of different drugs, we can show mental declines in various areas on neuropsychological batteries. These are looking at specific subaspects of mental function. But even in these cases, IQ itself is often preserved.

IQ is pretty darn stable otherwise. It’s pretty hard to get a permanent reduction in something like that.


Filed under Alcohol, Cannabis, Depressants, Dope, Hallucinogens, Intelligence, Intoxicants, Psychology

9 responses to “How Can I Know If My IQ is Decreasing?

  1. TRASH 2



    You would have been in high school in the mid-70’s. FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH was released in 1982 but was produced in 1981.

    How many kids were like the Sean Penn character Spicoli who was 17 in the film?

    One other character remarked that “he had been stoned since the 3rd grade”.

  2. Pussy Shaming

    Drug use is generally degenerate, so while I don’t think it should be illegal, it shouldn’t be condoned by society. And yes, it does hurt teens, but not people who start later in life. However, though, a lot of people do try it as teens. Anyway, pot smoking also has all the bad chemicals (for lungs, cancer) as in tobacco, but it could be deceiving cause you don’t have “tobacco smell”.

  3. Pussy Shaming

    I’m sure Robert’s nightmare is that Duterte would take over the US and shoot all the drug dealers, burn down the strip clubs, and behead the johns.

  4. Shaun

    Three people I know that were smoking hash in the 80s in their teens are now self made millionaires. Two were chronic. If you’re dumb, you’re dumb. I have yet to see it affect any of my friends in a serious way that has affected their ability to earn a living or reason. But my friends are responsible, intelligent and can think. I will say smoking pot and say doing calculus or algebra is beyond my ability – but I’m not gunning for any degrees to do anything professional. Sure it may shorten your short term memory, but yesterday’s meal – is it really worth remembering?

    • Pussy Shaming

      Short-term memory can be very vital, though. Look at the elderly. If they forget medication, they could die. Also, if an average adult misses things like work appointments etc. that could also be devastating.

      • TRASH 2

        My own experience

        1) People that start smoking pot at 13 or doing hard drugs at that age are usually slow. There is an immaturity to them and an adolescent attitude. Nobody who smokes an ounce of weed every week at 12 seemed that bright when I met them at 20. In fact, they came off as weird and jaded but with none of the wisdom a jaded adult has.

        2) The other type discover pot in their late teens. We know these people from university. They just never get a job or a career of any kind and smoke pot every day. They are sluggish.

        • Ebenezer CockSucker

          If they don’t get a job eventually and there is no welfare, then evolution will have to kick in I think – unless they are really macho hustler types – like Robert who can get 18-year-old chicks despite being 50 something.

          For the first group, I’d have to say it could be an exaggeration – but I’ve found one such adult to not be lazy – but very arrogant, but that could have nothing to do with pot. Won’t deliver pizza. I mean, even the redneck mentioned by Jason Y would do that at least.

          Ties in with extremism and other “I’m owed something philosophies” seem to be a hallmark of adult pot users who started young. But that doesn’t necessarily mean laziness.

        • Ebenezer CockSucker

          Right, terminal adolescence. So how much of this shit that white supremacists blame on a non-white’s race is really the race – but is really just effects of a weeded out mind?

          Yes, I think these weeded out people have massive problems – like the cool pizza guy Facebook poster – who unless they can figure out a way to get rich being redneck cheech and chong (maybe write a blog? Get their own movie?) 😆 – is bound for eternal poverty.

  5. Rashid

    I have been in the really high iq range for almost all of my teenage. But now, after experiencing and doing just totally dumb things and becoming slow I decided to retake an IQ. After I did it I going out my iq decreased for 6 points. All within teenage years. This is just depressing and I do not know what is going on. If you could maybe come with an explanation I would be great full.

    PD the iq was the same i measured it with

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