Cannabis use alters neurodevelopment, study finds

25th June 2021

A new study found that cannabis use among the adolescent population has a negative impact on neurodevelopment.

According to the study, which was published in the JAMA Psychiatry, using 1598 magnetic resonance (MR) images from 799 participants revealed that cannabis use was associated with accelerated age-related cortical thinning from 14 to 19 years of age in predominantly prefrontal regions.

The results, the authors claimed, suggested that cannabis use during adolescence is associated with altered neurodevelopment, particularly in cortices rich in cannabinoid 1 receptors and undergoing the greatest age-related thickness change in middle to late adolescence.

The authors concluded: “To our knowledge, the present investigation represents the largest longitudinal neuroimaging study of adolescent cannabis use to date.

“We report evidence of an association between adolescent cannabis use and altered cortical thickness development in a longitudinal sample of youths.

“The spatial pattern of cannabis-related thinning was associated with a PET-derived map of CB1 receptor availability as well as a map of age-related thickness change.

“The findings underscore the importance of further longitudinal studies of adolescent cannabis use, particularly given increasing trends in the legalisation of recreational cannabis use.”

If you’re interested in this study, you can find the whole study here by clicking on this link.

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