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Adults with a history of cannabis use have subtle, but long-lasting, changes to speech

Stereotypical “stoner” speech and cadence have long been the butt of well-intentioned joking, but an Australia-led team of researchers wondered if weed consumers actually speak differently than non-consumers.

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They decided to collect speech samples from 31 adults with a history of cannabis use, low to moderate and with no illicit stimulant drug use, and 40 non-drug-using controls.

Specifically, participants provided a monologue, a sustained vowel, said the days of the week and read a phonetically balanced passage, notes the study, published online in Drug and Alcohol Dependence. Investigators then carried out an acoustic analysis of the samples for timing, vocal control and quality.

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