Effects of Marijuana on Young Brains

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Researchers examined 88 adolescents about the effects of using and quitting marijuana on the brain and possible effects on memory retention.

Scientists analyzed the brain of youngsters between the age brackets of 16 to 25 years, to find the possible effects of marijuana on teenage brains. The result of the study was published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (October 30, 2018). The results not only show that marijuana impairs teenagers’ and young adults’ abilities to take in information, but also stopping its intake might boost or reverse the memory in them.

The program involved around 88 Boston-area youngsters ages 16 to 25 years old who used marijuana at least once a week. They offered money to the 62 participants to stop using marijuana for a month. During the analysis, the volunteers were made to undergo attention and memory tests, involving number sequences and directions algorithms. The tests conducted over a month revealed that the volunteers’ ability to pay attention was not affected after quitting marijuana.

They also found that within a week of quitting marijuana, volunteers performed moderately better in the memory tests than at the beginning of the study. It was also noted that the ability of the overall volunteers’ memory improved after quitting the drug.

Randi Schuster neuropsychologist of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and Harvard Medical School, said, “Cannabis is probably impairing young people’s ability to handle new information, the results suggest. But there’s good news here, from these data, we think that at least some of that impairment is not permanent. The researchers suggest that the teenagers should be advised to delay using cannabis, particularly high-potency products.

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