News on Wellness

Changes in Brain Linked To Smoking Marijuana

Young adults, who smoke marijuana occasionally, are at risk of damaging their brains. The two main functional areas of the brains that are responsible for actions like emotion and motivation along with decision making could be affected by the smoking of marijuana. These were genuine concerns raised by researchers in a new study conducted in Boston. They have even voiced that this damage could result in depreciating their brains capabilities of developing at the precise time and moment needed.

There have been other schools of thought on how the brain changes over time for those who smoke high doses of marijuana. However, this research conducted in Boston was the first of its kind to prove that the brain undergoes negative changes in younger and lighter smokers of marijuana.

The researchers have also found a link to the amount of marijuana smoked by the youngsters and the level of brain damage. The more they smoked in bigger quantities the more pronounced the damage it seemed to do on the development of the brain. Lead author Jodi Gilman, a psychology instructor at Harvard Medical School and a brain scientist at Massachusetts General Hospital, said such abnormalities in young brains are reason for concern. “This is when you are making major decisions in your life, when you are choosing a major, starting a career, making long-lasting friendships and relationships,” Gilman said.

The research data was published on Wednesday in the Journal of Neuroscience. As a large number of states have been legalizing the drug for medical uses, there have a number of concerns raised about its long-term effects. There were approximately 40 young adults between the ages of 18 – 25 were part of this study. Researchers used scans to measure the volume, shape, and density of two regions of the brain — the nucleus accumbens and the amygdala.

 

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