Regular Pot use is bad for young brainsadmin
Weed is becoming a more common thing in young adults but it may be doing more harm than good. “It needs to be emphasized that regular cannabis use, which we consider once a week, is not safe and may result in addiction and neurocognitive damage, especially in youth,” Krista Lisdahl from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee claims in a press release. “The adolescent period is a sensitive period of neurodevelopment,” she adds. Cognitive decline, poor attention and memory, and decreased IQ are some negative effects of frequent use, according to researchers presenting on the potential public health impacts of marijuana legalization at the annual American Psychological Association convention lasy week in Washington, D.C.
In 2012, a study displayed that 6.5 percent of high school seniors smoked weed daily- that’s up from 2.4 percent two decades earlier. About a third of young adult ages 18 to 25 calimed using marijuana at least once during a one-month period. 1,037 participants have been monitored since birth until they were 38 years old for a recent study. They found that people, who were addicted to weed can lose about sice IQ points by adulthood. In brain imaging studies of regular users, it showed significant changes in brain structure, especially in adolescents. Abnormalities in the brain’s gray matter, which is linked to intelligence, has been found in 16 to 19-year olds who increased their pot use in the past year.
Researcers suggest that legislators think about regulating levels of the major psychoactive chemical in marijuana, tertrahydrocannabinol (THC), in order to reduce the neuocognitive effects. “This relationship between marijuana and mental illness may be moderated by how often marijuana is used and potency of the substance,” says Alan Budney of Dartmouth. Some legalized forms of weed have higher levels of THC than other strains. Acceptence of legalized medical marijuana use seems to have an impact on young adult’s view of the risks, according to Bettina Friese of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation. A study in Montana claimed that 17,482 teenagers said teenage weed use was higher in countries where more people voted for legalization. “People don’t perceive it as a very harmful substance, and these community norms translate to teens,” Friese says.