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Cannabis Use in Adolescence Lowers IQ

Cannabis Use

Cannabis is a drug that comes from Indian hemp plants such as Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica. Cannabis is the most often used illegal substance worldwide, with the prevalence of lifetime. Cannabis overuse is common in adolescence and it is consistently associated with poorer mental health outcomes including increased risk of mood disorders and self -harm.

Research proves that young people who use cannabis frequently have worse outcomes in life than their peers and are at increased risk for serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia. Marijuana is one of the most widely used intoxicant in adolescence, and teens who engage in heavy marijuana use often show disadvantages in neurocognitive performance, macrostructural and microstructural brain development, and alterations in brain functioning.

Cannabis victim did show decreased concavity of the sulci and sulci thinning in frontal, temporal, and parietal lobes compared to non -users, highlighting the potential for cannabis to disrupt normal brain developmental trajectories. Cannabis consumption during youth is of great concern as the developing brain may be particularly susceptible to harm .

Effects of Cannabis on the Adolescent Brain

Cannabis Use

Marijuana has been the most commonly used illicit substance for almost 40 years, and presently 23% of 12th graders in the U.S. report using marijuana in the past month . Marijuana is mostly use in adolescence could have implications for academic functioning, as well as social and occupational functioning extending into later life.  The remodeling processes are purportedly linked to efficient neural processing, and believed to underlie specialized cognitive processing necessary for optimal neurocognitive performance. 

The Cannabinoid receptors (CB1) are widely distributed throughout the brain (e.g., hippocampus, prefrontal cortex), and play a role in neurotransmitter release and concentrations across neural systems (excitatory and inhibitory). The receptors increase during adolescence and also have a role in genetic expression of neural development, and that alteration of the endocannabinoid system during adolescence may results in a cascade of neurochemical and neurostructural aberrations, thus leading to poorer cognitive and emotional outcomes in adulthood.

The malfunction in brain development related to neurotoxic effects of regular marijuana use could significantly alter neurodevelopmental trajectories by not only changing neurochemical communication and genetic expression of neural development, but causing a toxic effect on brain tissue. The Marijuana -related effect on white matter and gray matter structures (e.g., changes in myelin, axons, and synapses) have widespread implications for healthy brain development from childhood to young adult on subtle cognitive functioning and success in daily functioning.

In 2010, adolescent cannabis abusers (ages 16–19) were found to have decreased right medial orbital prefrontal cortex volume compared to non -using counterparts; The volume was also found to be positively with age of initiation of marijuana use in the sample (i.e., younger age of first use associated with reduced orbital prefrontal cortex volume). A study published in 2010 found that while age was associated with changes in brain morphometry among non -users, there was no relationship between age and cortical gyrification in adolescent and young adult cannabis users. 

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