Reported by the UK Telegraph.
Experimenting with cannabis on a casual basis damages the brain permanently, research has found.
It is far from being a “safe” drug and no one under the age of 30 should ever use it, experts said.
People who had only used cannabis once or twice a week for a matter of months were found to have changes in the brain that govern emotion, motivation and addiction.
Researchers from Harvard Medical School in America carried out detailed 3D scans on the brains of students who used cannabis casually and were not addicted and compared them with those who had never used it.
Two major sections of the brain were found to be affected.
The scientists found that the more cannabis the 40 subjects had used, the greater the abnormalities.
Around 10 million people in Britain, almost a third of the population, have used illegal drugs, with cannabis the most popular. The research author, Dr Hans Breiter, professor of psychiatry and behavioural sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, said: “This study raises a strong challenge to the idea that casual marijuana use isn’t associated with bad consequences. Some people only used marijuana to get high once or twice a week.
“People think a little recreational use shouldn’t cause a problem, if someone is doing OK with work or school. Our data directly says this is not the case.
[...]Mark Winstanley, chief executive of Rethink Mental Illness, said: “For too long cannabis has been seen as a safe drug, but as this study suggests, it can have a really serious impact on your mental health.
“Research also shows that when people smoke cannabis before the age of 15, it quadruples their chance of developing psychosis. But very few people are aware of the risks involved.”
I troubled by this study because I know people who act as if smoking marijuana were as much a right as free speech.
What I would really like to see is that people who insist on engaging in irresponsible behaviors then go on bear the consequences of that behavior. The problem is that it’s not only these people who are affected, it’s the innocent people around them. There are the innocent victims of car accidents or theft or the children who suffer because their parents want to “alter their brains”. Those are the people I am worried about.
- New study: teen pot use could hurt brain and memory
- New study finds connection between early use of marijuana and mental illness
- New study: marijuana use by teens is linked to permanent brain abnormalities
- New study: smoking marijuana raises risk of having a stroke
- New study: smoking marijuana/cannabis permanently lowers IQ
- Should we legalize drugs and prostitution like Ron Paul wants?