Study: Effects of Smoking Marijuana Include Brain Changes

by Burke Speaker | April 16, 2014 10:30 am

A new study has shown that the effects of smoking marijuana include brain changes in areas associated with motivation and emotion.

medicalmarijuanastocks Study: Effects of Smoking Marijuana Include Brain Changes[1]The study [2]is reportedly the first to study even light marijuana use.

“Some of these people only used marijuana to get high once or twice a week,” said co-author Hans Breiter as quoted in Northwestern University’s Science Newsline. “People think a little recreational use shouldn’t cause a problem, if someone is doing OK with work or school. Our data directly says this is not the case.”

The report raises the debate that the effects of smoking marijuana — even casually — may impact long-term health. But the study does not determine if casual to moderate use is harmful to the brain in the long term.

Via the Washington Post:[3]

The study analyzed 20 pot smokers and 20 non-pot smokers between 18 and 25. Scientists asked them to estimate how much marijuana they smoked and how often they lit up over a three-month test period[4]. Even those who smoked once a week showed brain abnormalities, while larger changes were seen in those who smoked more.

Studies on the effects of alcohol have shown similar results — noting brain changes that impact mood and emotion.[5]

The study comes out amid changing public perception of the drug, with marijuana legalized in Colorado and parts of Washington state.

A number of other states have introduced — some passing — legislation that decriminalizes the drug, including most recently the state of Maryland.[6]

More Marijuana News

Endnotes:
  1. [Image]: http://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/medicalmarijuanastocks.jpg
  2. The study : http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2014-04-16/study-finds-signs-of-brain-changes-in-pot-smokers
  3. Via the Washington Post:: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/04/16/even-casually-smoking-marijuana-can-change-your-brain-study-says/?tid=pm_national_pop
  4. three-month test period: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140415181156.htm
  5. impact mood and emotion.: http://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddisalvo/2012/10/16/what-alcohol-really-does-to-your-brain/
  6. recently the state of Maryland.: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/14/maryland-marijuana-decriminalization_n_5107412.html

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