The Journal of Neuroscience recently published the results of a new study on the use of marijuana in both teens and adults. This article is likely to give added ammunition for the legalization of marijuana as it states that there is no indication that marijuana makes any changes in the brains of regular users.
An Important Factor
According to the six researchers who conducted this study; past studies have been flawed; because they did not differentiate between users who also used alcohol and those who didn’t.
For this study, the researchers eliminated marijuana users who drank alcohol. When this important difference was eliminated, the MRI scans of both users and non-users remained the same throughout.
Each group in this study consisted of 50 adolescents and 29 adults. The group of marijuana users was those who smoked on a daily basis.
Changes were looked for in four areas of the brain: the nucleus accumbens, amygdala, hippocampus, and cerebellum. It is these four areas that are said to be most involved in decision-making activity, as well as both long-term and short-term memory.
This recent study did not examine the orbitofrontal cortex for changes and this has created some concern for some previous researchers who believe this area is important in both decision-making and where addiction is concerned.
With no changes in the other four areas of the brain, however, the current researchers don’t feel the lack of examining this area would make a difference in the results.
Ray Boroumand is the Office Manager of 4th Street Medical, a leader in providing evaluations for medical marijuana in Santa Ana. An advocate for medical marijuana, Ray believes in making the process as simple and easy for patients as possible through quick and convenient verification. At 4th Street Medical, he stresses convenience, affordability and transparency 100% of the time.