Be AWare, Teenage Pot Users
The study was conducted on 42 heavy-marijuana users, of whom 20 were early adopters (before the age of 16). However, all of them had started using the drug during their teens and had continued the habit into their adulthood, consuming it at least once a week. The study demonstrated a linkage between amount of marijuana use and the degree to which brain development was affected.
A process known as synaptic pruning is stunted, among teenage pot users. This is the organic process that the brain follows in eliminating neurons that are not required. It also causes neurons to lose connection between synapses. Synapses are the regions between two neurons where nerve signals are conducted. The brain may have fewer layers, as well as wrinkles on its outer layer that is known as the cerebral cortex. The cortex may also become thicker; the distinction between the brain’s grey and white matter fades over time.
Dr. Gayatri Devi, a neurologist with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said on WebMD,
“These children seem to have less sculpting of the brain. If you don’t have the normal sculpting that’s seen during this age period, then one could speculate those are the areas that would be affected”
While there is an opposing school of thought that questions whether marijuana determines the brain design, or whether it is the other way round, it is well accepted that marijuana consumption amongst teens should be curbed as far as possible.