Marijuana was never something I got into. Now with all the talk about legalization of marijuana, kids do indeed feel “even better” about using it and actually believing it is “good for them”. In my experience and through my research, while cannabis may be very helpful and useful for some – it is not something that kids should use.
Cannabis Harms Brain, Imaging Shows
BALTIMORE — The heavy, long-term use of cannabis is associated with negative changes in parts of the brain not previously implicated, and is linked to deficits in learning and memory, new research suggests.
“In light of a current trend toward legalizing marijuana, with potentially increased exposure of adolescents, we believe our findings are important to consider,” said investigator Jodi Weinstein, MD, from the Columbia University Medical Center and the New York State Psychiatric Institute in New York City.
If used daily, cannabis “can be as bad as other drugs in terms of consequences,” said senior investigator Anissa Abi-Dargham, MD, also from the Columbia University Medical Center and the New York State Psychiatric Institute.
“People often think of cannabis as a lighter, harmless drug. This study shows that it is not and that it has negative consequences,” she told Medscape Medical News.
The study results were presented here at the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging 2015 Annual Meeting.
“Cannabis shares a negative impact on dopaminergic transmission with other drugs, only with a different regional profile,” explained Dr Abi-Dargham.
“This study is striking in that it provides further evidence that long-term cannabis use is associated with alteration in the function of key brain chemical messengers — in this case dopamine, a key chemical messenger for motivation and attention,” said Oliver Howes, MD, from the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London, United Kingdom.
“This could be linked to the addictive potential of cannabis and other problems, such as lack of motivation, seen in regular users,” Dr Howes toldMedscape Medical News.
Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) 2015 Annual Meeting: Abstract 32. Presented June 7, 2015.
To your health,