Study: Regularly Using Marijuana as a Teen Slows Brain Development

Last Updated: Friday, October 13, 2017

A recent study links regular marijuana use during the teen years to the disruption of brain development.girl smoking joint

The study also found that chronic use can lead to problems with attention span, behavior and impulse control in adulthood.

Researchers at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in Chicago used rats to look at how the constant exposure to cannabinoids – a natural chemical found in marijuana – affected their brains during certain age windows. Here’s what they found: when the brain receptors are repeatedly hit with cannabinoids during early adolescence, development of the prefrontal cortex is slowed.  The prefrontal cortex regulates decision-making, how one expresses their personality, social behavior and more.

The study, entitled “Adolescent Maturation of the Prefrontal Cortex: Modulation by Cannabinoids,” was published last month in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.

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