Bad news for pot smokers who started with weed when they were teenagers.
A new study that claims to be the first to use MRI scans to target “deep subcortical gray matter” says that folks who were daily tokers as teens ended up with memory problems, brain abnormalities and mental performance issues when they reached their twenties.
Researchers focused on …
… 97 16- and 17-year-olds who smoked regularly and didn't use any other drugs for three years solid.
The academics at Northwestern University published their work this week in the journal Schizophrenia Bulletin.
Of course, some of you cannabis fans in this here medical marijuana capital of America might say that forgetting all your problems is part of pot's charm.
The researchers suggest that it might not be worth it, though. According to a summary:
The study also shows the marijuana-related brain abnormalities are correlated with a poor working memory performance and look similar to schizophrenia-related brain abnormalities.
… The younger the individuals were when they started chronically using marijuana, the more abnormally their brain regions were shaped, the study reports.
It gets worse. Effects might “look similar” to schizophrenia, but the researchers ultimately believe that teen pot use “may contribute to changes in brain structure that are associated with having schizophrenia.”
Fifteen of the study's subjects had developed schizophrenia — and they did so after they started smoking pot heavily, the researchers say.
The study's co-author John Csernansky, chair of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, says:
The abuse of popular street drugs, such as marijuana, may have dangerous implications for young people who are developing or have developed mental disorders. This paper is among the first to reveal that the use of marijuana may contribute to the changes in brain structure that have been associated with having schizophrenia.
Sorry to harsh your mellow.