Jan. 19, 2022 – The researchers issued a warning about growing acceptability of cannabis being “on the rise,” especially among young people, who have the highest rates of use.

“It is therefore important to understand the cognitive risks involved in using cannabis, especially to young people, whose brains are undergoing significant developmental changes,” the study authors wrote.

Experts disagree on the extent of the negative effects caused by cannabis. Research into cannabis’ effects has been somewhat limited, due to it being illegal and not available for many research projects.

“Marijuana can be harmful to the brain and it can also be useful for medical purposes. The reality is that there is just not enough research to know a precise answer,” said Dr. Rebecca Siegel, a New York City clinical psychiatrist and author of “The Brain on Cannabis: What You Should Know About Recreational and Medical Marijuana.”

“We do know that cannabis use can impact the brain’s frontal lobe which controls executive functioning — decision making, problem-solving, etc.,” Siegel told Healthline. “Because THC affects the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, marijuana users may experience difficulty with concentration and memory. But without those studies, we can’t know for sure and we won’t know until more uniform, controlled studies are done.

“We do know that the brains of young adults are continuing to form until their mid-20s, so cannabis use in that population needs to be carefully controlled and monitored by a physician,” she said.


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