A large scientific study shows the harmful neurological effects of cannabis

Drug addiction in the US and overdose deaths are a major concern for the country’s health authorities.

Public opinion, particularly young people, consider some drugs for recreational use harmless to health, a perception error that has increased with the growing legalization of addictive substances in some American states.

Magnitude of the problem

To get an idea of its dimensions of the problem in the US, we cite the Addiction Center website that informs and treats victims of addictive behaviors which states that almost 21 million Americans are addicted to drugs, but only 10 % receive treatment.

Misinformation of the harmful neurological effects of cannabis

In this sense, the Psychology Today website states that consuming cannabis can cause brain damage in adolescents, such as schizophrenia or brain aging, and high rates of depression and suicide. Despite this, some teens still think cannabis use is safe.

Addiction in adolescence and neurodevelopment

We find of particular interest a study that has been published in JAMA Psychiatry entitled “Association of cannabis use during adolescence with neurodevelopment” that studies the effect of this substance in 799 patients between 14 and 19 years old during a period of one year in different countries of Europe. The study concluded that there was evidence of an association between cannabis use in adolescence and altered development of cortical thickness in young people.

In another article, in this case from the scientific journal Molecular Psychiatry, belonging to the Nature group, it is confirmed that schizophrenia is associated with reduced cortical thickness.
From a bioethical perspective, we believe it is important to carry out a campaign informing young people, paediatricians, parents and educators of the risks that cannabis use entails.


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