278. Barrington Health: Does Marijuana Change the Brain?

Home Newsroom 278. Barrington Health: Does Marijuana Change the Brain?

Marijuana doesn’t seem to shrink brains, but the results of a new study suggest the brains of people who use marijuana may be smaller than those who don’t.

Post - Marijuana Brain Research

Researchers found that marijuana users had some shrinkage in two brain regions called the amygdala and the right ventral striatum, but when they compared marijuana users’ brains to their siblings, the differences disappeared. As a result, researchers believe it’s possible that people who choose to use marijuana may already have the smaller regions in those parts of the brain.

In the study, the brains of 282 twins or siblings between the ages of 25 to 35 years old were analyzed to better understand whether cannabis use was associated with brain volumes. Study leaders included two separate groups of siblings – one who used marijuana and the other who did not – and tried to figure out whether brain differences might be genetic instead of being linked to marijuana use.

Dr. Chandragupta Vedak, a psychiatrist at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital, provides a different perspective to the theory.

“The endocannabinoid system [a group of lipids and their receptors in the brain] play an important role in the formation of synapses [the connections between neurons], says Dr. Vedak. “This perhaps explains why marijuana may have the strongest long-term impact on young users whose brains are still building new connections and maturing in other ways.”

There still needs to be some conclusive work on marijuana and its effect on the brain, researchers said. Future examination may provide help for substance abuse policy and prevention programs.

* This article was originally posted here on Advocate Health Care’s heatlh enews site.

About the Author

Lisa O'NeilLisa O’Neil serves as director of public affairs and marketing at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington.

CLICK HERE to read the latest articles Lisa has written for Advocate Health’s Enews platform at ahchealthenews.com.

Lisa is also contributes to our Barrington Health series at 365Barrington.com focused on advice from area physicians, the latest medical news and trends toward better health in and around Barrington, Illinois.

There are no comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

365Barrington Sponsors

Featured Events

365Barrington Partners

From the Community

This error message is only visible to WordPress admins
Error: No posts found.

Luby Group Listings

429 Fox Glove Lane Barrington, IL 60010
Single Family Home For Sale
- Active Under Contract

Close to town & steps from the walking paths of the Cuba Marsh Forest Preserve, this 5-bed, 5-bath custom brick & stone cape cod is expertly crafted and ONE-OF-A-KIND from top to bottom. The 29-foot ceiling will draw your eye immediately up to soarin

113 S Cook Street Barrington, IL 60010
Commercial For Sale
- Active Under Contract

Retail storefront in prime pedestrian location in downtown Barrington surrounded by Village shopping, restaurants, and steps to the Metra train station. Great opportunity to own a high visibility space, currently vacant, ready for you to move in and

1 Shire Trail South Barrington, IL 60010
Single Family Home For Sale
- Active

THIS MAGNIFICENT CUSTOM ESTATE in prestigious Cutters Run will captivate you the moment you drive through the private gate! Architecturally superior designs and elegant finishes adorn this beautiful home! BEAUTIFUL MAHOGANY DOORS WELCOME you as you e