psychiatry

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New Study: Marijuana Doesn't Cause Alterations In Brain Structure

MarijuanaBrain[TheDailyBeast]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Marijuana use doesn't cause alterations in brain structure, according to a new study which fails to support past claims about cannabis and brain health.

The clinical data were published this week in JAMA Psychiatry, reports Paul Armentano at NORML.

Scientists looked at the effect of marijuana exposure on brain volume in the hippocampus, the amygdala, the ventral striatum, and the orbitofrontal cortex in groups of exposed and unexposed pairs of siblings. Researchers reported that all the volumetric differences identified "were within the range of normal variation," and that they were attributable to "shared genetic factors," not marijuana use.

"We found no evidence for the causal influence of cannabis exposure on amygdala volume," the authors concluded.

"We found that while cannabis users had lower amygdala volumes than nonusers, that difference appears to be linked to other predisposing factors," said senior author Arpana Agrawal, an associate professor of psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, reports Dennis Thompson at HealthDay

Study: Medical Marijuana Laws Do Not Lead To Increases In Teen Use

TeenMarijuanaUse[SmokingPanda]

Lancet Study Dismantles Main Argument of Opponents of Medical Marijuana

A new Columbia University study published in Lancet Psychiatry shows that teen marijuana use does not increase after the passage of medical marijuana laws. The study, led by Dr. Debra Hasin, looked at past-30-day marijuana use among over one million adolescents over a 24-month period.

While rates of use were higher to begin with in medical marijuana states, rates of use did not change after laws went into effect.

This is not the first study to find that medical marijuana laws do not have an impact on teen use – but this study is the most comprehensive and valid, given the large sample size, the long study period and adjusting results for other factors that might contribute to marijuana use, such as gender, age and geographic location. Additionally, the study was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which has been critical of the impact of medical marijuana laws on teen use.

“Medical marijuana relieves pain and suffering for millions and does not lead to an increase in teen marijuana use,” said Amanda Reiman, manager of Marijuana Law and Policy for the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) and professor at UC Berkeley. “This should end the ‘What About The Kids’ argument used by opponents who try prevent access to marijuana for the sick and dying.”

U.S.: Leading Neuroscientist Dr. Carl Hart Challenges Lawmakers About Drugs And Addiction

CarlHartPhD

Award-Winning Author of High Price Has Pivotal TED Talk Released on 90th Anniversary of Malcolm X’s Birth

Ebony.com Covers Hart’s Special Telephone Town Hall About Drugs, Families, and What We Really Need to Do to Ensure Community Safety

Carl Hart, PhD, a neuroscientist and associate professor of psychology and psychiatry at Columbia University, whose work has redefined how people are discussing addiction, on Tuesday released two more groundbreaking and deeply compelling talks, one before a TEDMED audience in Northern California; and another a special Telephone Town Hall attended by hundreds of advocates, policymakers, faith leaders and medical professionals, and covered by Ebony.com, the African American news and lifestyle site.

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