How Does Marijuana Harm the Brain?
If you are wondering how does marijuana damage the brain, you’re not alone. Many people believe that cannabis can cause or trigger schizophrenia, but this isn’t always the case. A new study aims to answer this question by tracking a large group of young Americans from late childhood into early adulthood. This study will use neuroimaging and other advanced tools to determine whether marijuana uses have long-term effects on brain development. cash card for medical marijuana ny
Studies of cannabis users show that cannabis affects the way the brain processes dopamine. While marijuana does not directly cause neurodegeneration, other factors can do so, such as stress or head trauma. Still, marijuana is known to cause significant damage to the brain and can have lasting effects, such as impaired memory and even lower IQ in adolescents. In addition, marijuana can cause the user to lose touch with reality. Therefore, it’s important to understand exactly how marijuana harms the brain before using it.
While these effects are only visible in marijuana users, the research suggests that regular use affects the structure of the brain. Heavy marijuana users, for example, were found to have structural changes in the brain. MRIs revealed that the brain structures of heavy marijuana users were significantly different from those of non-users. And these changes were associated with higher impulsivity in heavy marijuana smokers. However, these findings remain preliminary. Further studies are needed to prove conclusively whether or not marijuana affects the brain.
A number of studies have shown that cannabis consumption can alter the structure of the brain, with different effects affecting young and old users. Research has also shown that use of cannabis during adolescence is associated with the same changes as that seen in later life. Because the brain continues to develop through adolescence, it’s essential to have proper structural maturation of fiber tracts. Inadequately developing brains may lead to mental illness, substance abuse, and psychiatric conditions.
Other findings have shown that even casual marijuana use can alter the structure of the brain. A study of 20 adolescents found that their brains were distinctly different from those of non-smokers. They looked at the volume and shape of grey matter in the nucleus accumbens and the amygdala – two areas in the brain associated with reward processing and decision making. In fact, the volume of grey matter in these areas is higher in marijuana users than in non-smokers, despite their apparent lack of cognitive impairment.
While the results of these studies are based on observation, the lack of a correlation between teen marijuana use and poor outcomes is questionable. Because of confounding factors, such as socioeconomic status and family history, these results are not conclusive. Only controlled drug experiments can definitively prove whether marijuana is harmful to the brain. The most reliable evidence of marijuana’s negative effects on the brain comes from studies that examine the effects of prolonged exposure to THC.