New Study Reveals Smoking Weed Just ONCE Could Change A Teenager’s Brain - ROUND GIST

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Wednesday, 20 February 2019

New Study Reveals Smoking Weed Just ONCE Could Change A Teenager’s Brain

In a recent study scientists revealed just one or two joints could be enough to change the structure of a teenager’s brain. The research, by the University of Vermont, scanned the brains of teenagers from England, Ireland, France and Germany to study marijuana’s effects.


They found differences in the volume of grey matter in the amygdala and the hippocampus areas of the organs. This means the tissue in certain areas is thicker, and it was found to be in the same areas as the receptors which marijuana affects.

These sections are involved with emotions, fear, memory development and spatial skills – changes to them suggests smoking cannabis could affect these faculties. Experts said thickening of brain tissue is the opposite of what usually happens during puberty, when teenagers’ brain matter gets thinner and more refined.


Scientists said theirs is the first evidence to suggest there are structural brain changes and cognitive effects of just one or two uses of cannabis in young teenagers. And it suggests as teenagers’ brains are still developing, they may be particularly vulnerable to the effects of THC.

Researchers found 14-year-old girls and boys exposed to THC – the psychoactive chemical in cannabis – had a greater volume of grey matter in their brains. This means the tissue in certain areas is thicker, and it was found to be in the same areas as the receptors which marijuana affects.

Experts said thickening of brain tissue is the opposite of what usually happens during puberty, when teenagers’ brain matter gets thinner and more refined.


‘Consuming just one or two joints seems to change grey matter volumes in young adolescents,’ said study author Professor Dr Hugh Garavan.

‘The implication is that this is potentially a consequence of cannabis use. You’re changing your brain with just one or two joints.

‘Most people would likely assume that one or two joints would have no impact on the brain.’

What changes the increased brain volume directly causes is unclear, but the researchers said it is important to understand cannabis’s effects in detail.

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