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Marijuana Users Are More ‘Health Smart’ Than Others, Research Shows – Pot smokers like to joke about the substance making them smarter, but turns out it might actually be true. Well, at least when it comes to being health smart.

A new study out of the University of Zurich in Switzerland came to this conclusion after analyzing data from over 11,000 young males. The results, published online in the International Journal of Public Health, show that those who use marijuana tend to be more informed about health than non-users.

cannabis smoekrrs health smart The largest gap between the groups shouldn’t come as a surprise. The heaviest users of cannabis were by far more likely than those who don’t smoke to seek out information pertaining to substance use. Also not surprising, they were more confident about understanding the health risks of using cannabis compared to non-users.

On the other hand, all cannabis users – particularly occasional users – were more likely than non-users to stay informed about health or healthcare in general. Similar trends were observed in those with higher levels of education or occupation. However, when the same test was applied to tobacco and alcohol users, trends became weaker or disappeared all together.

While the study only considered health information searched for over the internet, studies show that most people are turning to online sources instead of newspapers and magazines. Technology likely plays an even larger role in the way young adults access information – the average age included in the study was 19.

But why do cannabis users tend to seek out health information more frequently than their peers? The researchers offer this as one explanation for their findings:

“They may also point to the existence of informed, savvy users.”

Considering the relative safety associated with cannabis verses other popular substances like tobacco and alcohol, cannabis users may simply be people who make safer and smarter choices about health.

The study was published ahead of print on July 11, 2013 and funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation.