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Curr Pharm Des. 2014;20(13):2186-93.

Effects of cannabis on the adolescent brain.

Author information

1
VA San Diego Healthcare System, Psychology Service (116B), 3350 La Jolla Village Drive, San Diego, CA 92126, USA. stapert@ucsd.edu.

Abstract

This article reviews neuroimaging, neurocognitive, and preclinical findings on the effects of cannabis on the adolescent brain. Marijuana is the second most widely used intoxicant in adolescence, and teens who engage in heavy marijuana use often show disadvantages in neurocognitive performance, macrostructural and microstructural brain development, and alterations in brain functioning. It remains unclear whether such disadvantages reflect pre-existing differences that lead to increased substances use and further changes in brain architecture and behavioral outcomes. Future work should focus on prospective investigations to help disentangle dose-dependent effects from pre-existing effects, and to better understand the interactive relationships with other commonly abused substances (e.g., alcohol) to better understand the role of regular cannabis use on neurodevelopmental trajectories.

PMID:
23829363
PMCID:
PMC3930618
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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