Study Finds No Link Between Adolescent Weed Use and Adult Brain Structure
(Repost from an Article written by Thomas Edward for HighTimes.com)
Concerns surrounding marijuana use among adolescents have long been a hurdle for legalization advocates, given that the brains of children are developing at a rapid rate. But a new study suggests that cannabis may not pose much long-term risk on brain function at all.
The study, to be published in next month’s issue of Drug and Alcohol Dependence and conducted by researchers at Arizona State University, “tested associations between prospectively-assessed trajectories of adolescent cannabis use and adult brain structure in a sample of boys followed to adulthood.” In an effort to test the hypothesis that adolescent marijuana users demonstrate structural alterations to their brains in adulthood, the researchers analyzed self-reported cannabis use among boys aged 13-19 in Pittsburgh.
The group of around 1000 boys was examined during the 1980s. When certain “adolescent cannabis trajectories” were identified by the researchers, the boys were classified based on four different trajcetories: non-users/infrequent users, desisters, escalators, and chronic-relatively frequent users. “Boys in different trajectory subgroups did not differ on adult brain structure in any subcortical or cortical region of interest,” the researchers wrote in their analysis of the results.