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Effects of Cannabis on Adolescent Brain

Effects of Cannabis on Adolescent Brain
There are a lot of controversies, related to legalization of marijuana for medical use. There are still many open questions, which remain unsolved and one of them is related to the effect of marijuana upon teenagers’ brains. Studies of the chemical compounds of marijuana have proved that the plant is able to produce mind-altering effects.Effects of Cannabis on Adolescent Brain
Talking about short term effects, it is important to mention problems with attention and memory functioning, in consequence there could be difficulties with decision-making processes and education. Such effects could last up to several days after the high is worn off. “Heavy marijuana use in adolescence or early adulthood has been associated with a dismal set of life outcomes including poor school performance, higher dropout rates, increased welfare dependence, greater unemployment and lower life satisfaction.” (Jacobus 2014). Some researchers assume that due to the fact that marijuana abuse already starts from problematic behaviors, it would be correct to consider this in the list of vulnerability factors. However, according to the data from the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study persistent use of marijuana was associated with significant IQ decline in some cases up to six IQ points. The specialists of the study compared marijuana use with lead exposure. Such serious negative impact of marijuana upon brains could be explained by the fact that human brains are in the process of construction until the early twentieths. Thus in the process of neurodevelopment the brain is considered to be especially sensitive towards damage from drugs, including marijuana. The region of the brain, responsible for judgment, decision-making and planning, is situated in the frontal cortex and this is the last area to develop completely. In addition repeated abuse of marijuana could have impact upon cellular activity of the endocannabioid system, which is immature in teens. This system is responsible for cognition, stress response and emotional control. This also explains why exactly adolescents’ brains are more sensitive towards the negative effects of marijuana.Effects of Cannabis on Adolescent Brain

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