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Teen brains alter after just one cannabis joint

Friday January 18th, 2019

Teenagers who use cannabis even once or twice experience differences in their brains, according to a new report.

The study of 14-year-olds from Ireland, England, France, and Germany is the first research to find evidence that an increase in grey matter volume in certain parts of the adolescent brain due to low-level marijuana use.

The research, published in The Journal of Neuroscience, analysed data from a large research programme investigating adolescent brain development and mental health.

Senior author and University of Vermont (UVM) Professor of Psychiatry Hugh Garavan said: “Consuming just one or two joints seems to change grey matter volumes in these young adolescents.”

The new study, part of a long-term European project known as IMAGEN, included 46 teenagers who reported having used cannabis once or twice by age 14.

Their brains showed more grey matter volume in cannabinoid receptors compared to those who did not use the drug.

They found the biggest differences in grey matter were in the amygdale and in the hippocampus.

"The implication is that this is potentially a consequence of cannabis use," Prof Garavan says. "You're changing your brain with just one or two joints. Most people would likely assume that one or two joints would have no impact on the brain."

http://www.jneurosci.org/lookup/doi/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3375-17.2018

Tags: Alternative Therapy | Brain & Neurology | Europe | Infancy to Adolescence | UK News

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