Heavy Marijuana Use in Teen Years linked to Damaged Brain Structures

Does-marijuana-cause-brain-damage2Heavy Marijuana Use in Teen Years linked to Damaged Brain Structures

A new study by Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago has reported that heavy marijuana use in the teenage years is linked to damaged brain structures vital to memory and reasoning. According to Gary Pearce, Director of Talbot Partnership for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Prevention, adults and youth need to be aware of the impact of marijuana on brain development.

When marijuana is smoked, THC rapidly passes from the lungs into the bloodstream, which carries the chemical to the brain and other organs throughout the body. It is absorbed more slowly when ingested in food or drink.

However it is ingested, THC acts on specific molecular targets on brain cells, called cannabinoid receptors. These receptors are ordinarily activated by chemicals similar to THC that naturally occur in the body and are part of a neural communication network. This system plays an important role in normal brain development and function. The effects of marijuana use include altered perceptions and mood, impaired coordination, difficulty with thinking and problem solving, and disrupted learning and memory. In addition, regular use of marijuana shows the same respiratory problems as cigarette smoking, increases the risk of heart attack, increases the likelihood of developing cancer of the head or neck, and affects the immune system’s ability to fight disease.

For further information on the dangers of marijuana and other drugs, contact Talbot Partnership at 410-819-8067 or info@talbotpartnership.org. Please also visit our website at www.talbotpartnership.org or find us on Facebook.