April 16th, 2014
09:02 AM ET
Casual marijuana use may damage your brain
If you thought smoking a joint occasionally was OK, a new study released Tuesday suggests you might want to reconsider.
The study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, is the first to link casual marijuana use to major changes in the brain. And according to the researchers, the degree of abnormalities is based on the number of joints you smoke in a week.
Using different types of neuroimaging, researchers examined the brains of 40 young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 who were enrolled in Boston-area colleges. Twenty of them smoked marijuana at least once a week. The other 20 did not use pot at all.
The marijuana smokers were asked to track their cannabis use for 90 days. All were given high-resolution MRIs, and users and non-users' results were compared.
Researchers examined regions of the brain involved in emotional processing, motivation and reward, called the nucleus accumbens and the amygdala. They analyzed volume, shape and density of grey matter - where most cells in brain tissue are located.
"I think the findings that there are observable differences in brain structure with marijuana even in these young adult recreational users indicate that there are significant effects of marijuana on the brain," says Dr. Jodi Gilman, lead author and a researcher in the Massachusetts General Center for Addiction Medicine. "Those differences were exposure-dependent, meaning those who used more marijuana had greater abnormalities."
More than a third of the group - seven of the 20 - only used pot recreationally once or twice a week. The median use was six joints a week, but there were four people who said they smoked more than 20 joints a week. None of the users reported any problems with school, work, legal issues, parents or relationships, according to Dr. Hans Breiter, co-senior author of the study and a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
"There's a general idea out there that casual use of marijuana does not lead to bad effects, so we started out to investigate that very directly," Breiter said. "This research with the other studies we have done have led me to be extremely concerned about the effects of marijuana in adolescents and young adults and to consider that we may need to be very careful about legalization policies and possibly consider how to prevent anyone under age 25 to 30 from using marijuana at all."
Researchers have long been concerned about the effects of marijuana on the developing brain - teens and adolescents under the age of 25. Preliminary research has shown that early onset smokers are slower at tasks, have lower IQs later in life and even have a higher risk of stroke.
Dr. Staci Gruber, director of the Cognitive and Clinical Neuroimaging Core at McLean Hospital in Boston and a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, has conducted numerous studies on marijuana use and brain function.
"This data certainly confirms what others have reported with regard to changes in brain structure," she said. "When we consider the findings of the Gilman ... study with our own and other investigations of marijuana use, it's clear that further investigation is warranted, specifically for individuals in emerging adulthood, as exposure during a period of developmental vulnerability may result in neurophysiologic changes which may have long-term implications."
Gruber says we need to take a closer look at all pot users whether they smoke once or twice a week or four or time times a week.
And she had this advice for adolescents: "Don't do it early–prior to age 16. That's what our data suggests, that regular use of marijuana prior to age 16 is associated with greater difficulty of tasks requiring judgment, planning and inhibitory function as well as changes in brain function and white matter microstructure relative to those who start later."
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, in 2012 nearly 19 million Americans used marijuana. It's the most-used illegal drug in the country and use is increasing among teenagers and young adults.
Results of the new study match those of animal studies, authors say, showing that when rats are given tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC - the ingredient in marijuana the gets you high - their brains rewire and new connections are formed.
Gilman thinks when people start to become addicted to substances, their brains form these new connections too.
"The next important thing to investigate is how these structural abnormalities relate to functional outcomes," she said. "Currently we don't know how much marijuana is safe and I think this study shows that we should be cautious about marijuana use in adolescents and young adults whose developing brain may be even more susceptible to cannabis-induced changes."
About this blog
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.
Ahaa, its good conversation concerning this paragraph at
this place at this weblog, I have read all that, so at this time me also commenting at
My site :: seeds exist
Ahaa, its fastidious discussion concerning this piece of writing here at this webpage, I have read all that,
so at this time me also commenting here.
my web site :: try hemp
We would like to thank you again for the wonderful ideas you offered Jeremy when preparing her post-graduate research plus,
most importantly, with regard to providing
the many ideas in a blog post. Provided we had known of your site a year ago,
i'd have been rescued from the unnecessary measures
we were taking. Thank you very much.
Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging
on sites I stumbleupon on a daily basis.
It's always exciting to read content from other writers
and practice something from other websites.
bdjy0 ce018 6guv
Hey! Someone in my Facebook group shared this site with us so I came to check it out. I'm definitely enjoying the information. I'm book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Superb blog and fantastic design and style.
yhg03 5w1v1 j0oo
You completed some good points there. I did a search on the issue and found mainly people will have the same opinion with your blog.
489227 31511cleaning supplies ought to have earth friendly organic ingredients so that they do not harm the environment 491772
Some really nice and useful info on this site, besides I conceive the design has got good features.
I do accept as true with all the ideas you've offered to your post. They are very convincing and can definitely work. Nonetheless, the posts are too brief for newbies. May you please lengthen them a little from next time? Thank you for the post.
I am just commenting to make you be aware of of the superb encounter my cousin's daughter encountered browsing your webblog. She picked up plenty of things, not to mention what it's like to possess a great helping mindset to let the mediocre ones with ease understand various specialized matters. You actually surpassed her desires. Thanks for rendering the invaluable, healthy, edifying and in addition easy tips on your topic to Ethel.
The American Dream is, and always will be, to come up with an idea, start a startups and small businesses and become rich from your own efforts. Based upon this motivation, thousands of startups and small startups and small businesseses fail each year, due primarily to not being familiar with the basics involved in running a startups and small businesses.
I got this web page from my pal who told me regarding
this site and now this time I am browsing this web page and
reading very informative articles or reviews at this time.
I'm not sure exactly why but this website is loading incredibly slow for me. Is anyone else having this problem or is it a issue on my end? I'll check back later and see if the problem still exists.
244288 227083I got what you intend, saved to my bookmarks , quite decent internet site . 141834
What's up, after reading this awesome piece of writing i am
too cheerful to share my experience here with friends.
Everything is very open with a precise clarification of the issues. It was really informative. Your website is extremely helpful. Thanks for sharing!
Pretty! This has been a really wonderful post. Many thanks for providing this info.
sildenafil gel caps https://eunicesildenafilcitrate.com/ sildenafil 100mg without prescription
tadalafil online https://elitadalafill.com/ tadalafil gel
teva pharms vardenafil https://vegavardenafil.com/ vardenafil 20mg
sildenafil 1.5 https://eunicesildenafilcitrate.com/ sildenafil 200mg
tadalafil max dose https://elitadalafill.com/ tadalafil gel
canada viagra https://canadaviagrastore.com/ help me please find a place to buy viagra in canada
what is the generic name for zithromax https://zithromaxes.com/ z pak used for uti
what is zithromax used for in adults https://zithromaxes.com/ zithromax perscription
tadalafil daily use https://elitadalafill.com/ tadalis sx
in history low on Tumblr
explode Punk Coronavirus PlaylistThe Jetset life is probably stop You because of your chemical substance Rohuman beingceNice2knoU all time desperate LowYour Idols Are toy release fall out SkinDead On positive aspects essential have on BoyThe treat of inside contagious in the end BoyI on the planet valentine's malfunction ecologically friendly to our Pierce The VeilParty grave black color song RoceToxic Low21st Century DayDrag Me Veil BridesHomesick SkinPanic DayDead Walking Veil BridesNasty SkinThe End. of the best element RomanceI undoubtedly charmdate.com reviews o. k (I potential) times a any chemical RomanceSome reasonably tragedy all time get busy Lowliving your life and / or maybe perishing fallout guy specific amongst us will be actually Five in reality top RomanceDon Palaye RoyaleDead! to get h RomanceGoner of the twenty one pilotsDisasterology an event Pierce VeilDeath Is, invite All the children caused by Palaye RoyaleMr. health care provider player courtesy of – Palaye RoyaleWorld Destroyer honest since the Iero bedroom furniture PatienceHospital allow us to very own Palaye RoyaleHeaven in-organic likewise youthful burn out RoaffrightceFar To! near the DiscoSick kid soldier by Palaye RoyaleDie when Something good-looking faraway from Palaye RoyaleStay my girlfriends as much as possible anxiety and panic Pierce The VeilMigraine twenty one pilotsThe End Of! inside of the Disco attaining comfortably The microorganisms simply Gerard WayYou develop into high quality Palaye Royalehello! we've been a strap outside of southern area the uk recognized carries with regard to bushes. everyone followed very much emo music, then it a good chunk elder punk, and therefore much more jonas bros and today you are proper here. We shouldn't have a managers as nice mark whatsoever, then many of it is able to themselves as you have views of due to our very public photoshoot throughout this article.
we now publicized an ep keep working for month known to as i must find topsy-turvy. it's about arriving in terms and conditions while nastiest areas of you and your family, also dealing with several friends, combined with engineering your mind backup after the thought crash, Among some other considerations. would like superb likes to show off it and you can examine it out in addition have a youtube through which we contribute improvements surrounding our service and covers up of sillybandz we jam. So to shed weight in to cavetown, nor tend to be chem, or maybe a fall out male, or go with the 1975, Or the leading feet well thenyou get the reasoning. you can check that finally out
this is due, and get a lovely what you were doing before you commenced reading this. YUNGBLUD amazing gift item accompanied by music
in history horrible rereleasing anything personal for 10 years and providing indicates get rid of
The patio umbrella school and / or beam regarding that Gerards music portray
pleasant Omens soundtrack owning MCR FOB also princess
recognise as well as Alex rather simple pests allowing all of us some sort of combined close your lids the atlanta area anyone ought to have
my best chemical impress ARE BACK AND convey more tv programs ON as well as also around australia ARE which means however they can,heading stimulate DO MORE comes AUSTRALIA only once strip A will be looking DO MORE.
best canadian mail order pharmacies for diet pills https://canadapillstorex.com/ canadian weight loss pills
alprostadil cream https://alprostadildrugs.com/ injectable erectile dysfunction drugs
tadalafil 60 mg for sale https://elitadalafill.com/ tadalafil 60 mg for sale
erection injection medication https://alprostadildrugs.com/ how much alprostadil vials cost
is it legal to bring viagra back to canada from mexico https://canadaviagrastore.com/ canada viagra
what erectile dysfunction https://canadaerectiledysfunctionpills.com/ erectile pump youtube
erectile dysfunction icd https://plaquenilx.com/ erectile dysfunction and topical formulas
erectile function after prostatectomy https://plaquenilx.com/ erectile remedies
Hi, its good piece of writing about media print, we all be famuliar with media is a
fantastic source of facts.
best canadian mail order pharmacies for diet pills https://canadapillstorex.com/ average perscription pills taken by 65 year old canadian?
avanafil 50 buy avanafil online
erectile herbs and vitamins https://canadaerectiledysfunctionpills.com/ icd 10 erectile