That Weed You Smoked In Your Teens Was Probably A Bad Idea

A new study claims that casual weed smoking causes brain abnormalities in the young. Bugger.


by Sophie Cullinane |
Published on

Yeah we’ve got some bad news. That weed you smoked when you were a teenager didn’t just make you fail physics because you were too busy hot-boxing a Renault Clio – it might of have an adversely affected your brain as well.

The study, which was today in the Journal of Neuroscience, found that young, casual marijuana smokers tend to experience harmful changes to their brains, with drug altering regions of the mind related to motivation and emotion. The researchers at Northwestern University, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School showed a direct correlation between the number of times users smoked and abnormalities in the brain.

Dr. Hans Beiter, professor of psychiatry and behavioural sciences at Northwestern University said:

‘What we're seeing is changes in people who are 18 to 25 in core brain regions that you never, ever want to fool around with.’

The study found that changes to the volume, shape and density of the nucleus accumbens and nucleus amygdala regions of the brain, which are thought to be key to regulating emotion and motivation, in marijuana users who smoke between one and seven joints a week.

‘Our hypothesis from this early work is that these changes may be an early sign of what later becomes amotivation, where people aren't focused on their goals.’

In hindsight, it's not a huge shock, is it? Weed smokers aren’t exactly known for their get up and go. Unless they're getting up to go and find a Mars Milkshake drink. Still, might be an idea to tell your little sister to put away the Bob Marley ash tray.

Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophiecullinane

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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