Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Marijuana 'Is Worse For Teenage Brains Than Alcohol', New Study Says

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Samantha Long | 06 October, 2018, 05:40

While both alcohol and marijuana misuse are known to be associated with impairments in learning, memory, attention and decision-making, as well as with lower academic performance, a new study claimed that cannabis use has lasting effects on cognitive skills in teenagers than alcohol.

Teens who use cannabis - the most commonly used illegal drug in the United Kingdom - could be causing long-term damage to their brains, according to a study.

The research team recruited almost 4,000 teenagers from over thirty different Canadian schools to track them for a period of four years.

The researchers, from the University of Montreal, urged teenagers to delay their use of cannabis for as long as they felt able.

Adolescents gave details of their drinking habits, cannabis and other substances, and they were subjected to cognitive tests each year.

Diving into lasting effects, one association Conrad found particularly concerning was between cannabis use and inhibitory control.

"Our study is unique in that it followed a large sample of high school students using cognitive and substance-use measures". The Ste-Justine Hospital-Université de Montreal study discovered damage to primary cognitive functions that have been more intense than the ones triggered by alcohol use.

Kate Hudson gives birth, names her daughter Rani
Hudson has two other children from previous relationships, Ryder and Bingham who are also effortlessly stunning. The couple chose a rather unique name for their new addition... and one with a very special meaning to them.

But, instead, the research detected greater increases in errors in cognitive tests on the teenagers using cannabis - while they were taking the drug and after they had stopped. 28% of young people admitted using cannabis, compared with 75% who drank alcohol occasionally or more permanently.

These effects were seen in working memory, reasoning and their ability to control their behaviour. Stopping cannabis use may cause some withdrawal symptoms, such as insomnia and mood disorders.

It's "toxic" effect on the developing brain also significantly impairs inhibitory control, which the authors say might explain why early cannabis use is a risk factor for other addictions.

"Their brains are still developing but cannabis is interfering with that", Prof Conrod said, of teenagers.

She added that the findings highlight the importance of drug prevention programs, BBC News reported.

Cannabis is thought to be the most widely used illegal drug in the UK.

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