News on Wellness

Youth Brain Rewired By Casual Marijuana Smoking: Study


A recent study conducted by North Western University’s Medical School, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital has revealed that even casual marijuana pot smoking affects brain. This study was published in the Journal of Neuroscience this week and it differed from many of research studies that were related to marijuana use, which focus only on heavy users.

It revealed that there is a direct link between the marijuana intake and brain abnormalities, specifically in the young. Dr Hans Beiter, who is the co-author of the study, stated that the changes are seen in the brain in marijuana smokers who are aged between 18 and 25. This is not something that can be taken for granted he said. He further added that the study found that, the number of times a person smokes marijuana; it changes the nucleus acumen and the nucleus amygdale accordingly. These are the portions that regulate motivation and emotion in a person. These changes are predominant in youngsters who smoke pot between 1 to 7 joints a week.

Further, the study also found that the density, shape and volume of brain regions changed and more study has to be done to find out how these changes affected in long-term and if they can be fixed, added Beiter. Based on the results, it is hypothesised that these changes actually indicate a person is going to become less emotional and lose focus on their goals in the future.

This study was funded by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and National Institute of Drug Abuse. It also reported that pot access has increased and specifically after the Washington State and Colorado voting to legalise its recreational use. However, usage of this drug is still considered illegal as per the federal law. In United States alone, there are 20 states that have allowed medical pot as the advocates argue that smoking pot is a better option in comparison to alcohol.

Further, Dr Beiter stated that alcohol consumption is also found to alter the brain functions. However, it is still under process. The researchers have not found out how the mental rewiring takes place and how it affects the lives of people. The difference between marijuana and drinking is that, in pot smoking physical changes in the brain can be witnessed. Further, it has more effect on young people as their brains are still developing, and it is important to avoid the smoking pot under 30 unless it is to manage the pains of terminal illness.

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