Cannabis DOES alter your brain - and the younger you start the ‘greater the risk of serious damage’

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Cannabis has long-term effects on a person’s brain – especially if they start using the drug earlier in life, according to a new study.

Starting to use marijuana before the age of 16 has been found to result in an underdeveloped prefrontal cortex, scientists revealed.

That’s the part of the brain responsible for judgment, reason and complex thinking.

In contrast, people who start to use marijuana after the age of 16 experience accelerated brain aging.

Lead study author Dr. Francesca Filbey, of the University of Texas at Dallas, said: ‘Not only did age of use impact the brain changes but the amount of cannabis used also influenced the extent of altered brain maturation.’

A team of researchers from the university’s Center for BrainHealth analyzed MRI scans of 42 heavy marijuana users.

Each of the participants were between the ages of 21 and 50, and indicated that they began using cannabis in adolescence.

All of the participants continued to use marijuana through adulthood – using the drug at least one time each week.

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