Cannabis neurological harmful effects show a recent large scientific study
Drug addiction in the US and overdose deaths (see HERE) are a major concern for the country’s health authorities.
Public opinion and particularly young people consider some drugs for recreational use harmless to health, a perception error that has been increased by the growing legalization of addictive substances in some American states (see HERE).
The magnitude of the problem
To get an idea of its dimensions in the US, we cite the Addiction Center website that informs and treats victims of addictive behaviors. “Almost 21 million Americans have at least one addiction, yet only 10% of them receive treatment.” and “Americans between the ages of 18 and 25 are most likely to use addictive drugs.”
Misinformation of the cannabis neurological harmful effects
In this sense, the website Psychology Today 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 that cannabis use is safe. Read more HERE.
We find of particular interest a recent study that has been published in JAMA Psychiatry entitled “Association of Cannabis Use During Adolescence With Neurodevelopment” (June 16, 2021) studying the effect of this substance in 799 patients between 14 and 19 years during a 5-year period in different countries in Europe. We believe that this study could be applied to cannabis users in the USA. The study concluded that “We report evidence of an association between adolescent cannabis use and altered cortical thickness development in a longitudinal sample of youths. The spatial pattern of cannabis-related thinning was associated with a PET-derived map of CB1 receptor availability as well as a map of age-related thickness change.” Read the full article HERE.
Another scientific journal from the Science group, Molecular Psychiatry (July 12, 2021) confirms that “Schizophrenia has been extensively associated with reduced cortical thickness” read more HERE.
From a bioethical perspective, we believe that it is important to make a campaign informing young people, pediatricians, parents and educators of the risks that Cannabis use entails.