Study: Smoking Cannabis Just Once Can Alter Teens’ Brains | Highlife

Study: Smoking Cannabis Just Once Can Alter Teens’ Brains

A new study suggests that even small amounts of teenage cannabis use – just one or two joints before the age of 15 – can potentially lead to significant changes in brain development.

The research was published in the Journal of Neuroscience. The study looked at 46 teens aged 14 or younger who had smoked the equivalent of one to two joints in their lifetimes. Their brain scans were compared to those of 46 kids who had never used cannabis before but were of the same in terms of age, IQ, socioeconomic statuses, experience with alcohol and past nicotine use.

Kids who reported just one or two (cannabis) uses in their lifetimes actually showed increased grey matter volumes in a whole bunch of brain regions,

said the study’s lead author, psychiatrist Hugh Garavan of the University of Vermont.

Garavan told CTV News Channel on Wednesday that he believes it’s possible that the larger brain volumes in those who used cannabis could be the result of less synaptic pruning, which is the process whereby the brain cells needed to soak up information in childhood are killed off in the teenage years to create a more efficient brain.

Research in animals had previously suggested a link between cannabis and brain volume but Garavan says he was nonetheless surprised.

What made this interesting was that the brain regions affected were those areas where cannabis tends to have its effects on the brain,

he said.

The regions seemingly affected were the hippocampus, which is involved in memory formation and spatial abilities, and the amygdala, which is involved in fear and threat processing.

Garavan said that the study should be interpreted with caution, but added that the “pattern seen tends to be associated with lower IQs … and anxiety.”

Research in animals had previously suggested a link between cannabis and brain volume but Garavan says he was nonetheless surprised.

One response to “Study: Smoking Cannabis Just Once Can Alter Teens’ Brains”

  1. Yes I’m originally from the California and I really wish I could afford to go see my real bloody realatives that are out there. I use to use marijuana and I was always without pain . Now I don’t and I have anxiety, pain, aches, temper, bad eyes so I need a medical card so bad. But I live in Arkansas and I don’t know how to get a card. I don’t have the money for a application because I am a 57 year old woman who use to make $65,000.00 a year but got disabled and now I am on ss and that keeps me strapped for buying any extras. After I pay my bills, I can’t afford food or anything. I need help but I just don’t know how to get help. I have 4 grandkids I don’t own my home, I have a used car that is needed fixed real bad. I just pray that God will help me someway. Ok well I’m sorry for the drama. Just wanted to say hello and hope you are well. Thank you. Maybe someday I will be able to go see my blood relatives there in California and find a way to be able to have. Safe vechicle that my grandkids can ride in without fear of braking down on the road. God bless you.

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