There has been an ongoing debate over whether or not marijuana actually has long-term effects on a person neurologically and/or psychologically. Some studies have suggested that marijuana is linked to psychotic symptoms and many studies have found that it is linked to schizophrenia. The issue is whether or not marijuana is the pre-existing condition or if the psychological or psychotic symptoms are. At the moment, a study from King’s College London finds that smoking a high-potency type of marijuana alters the white matter connections between the two sides of the brain. This seems to be true despite if the smoker experiences psychosis or not.
Skunk, the type of marijuana tested, has higher levels of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, than other types of marijuana. In addition, it has become much more popular recently as smokers look for stronger versions of marijuana. Scientists analyzed the brains of fifty-six people who had looked for treatment after an episode of psychosis, and 43 healthy individuals. Researchers observed the density in the brain’s corpus callosum, the large network of white matter tracks that with neurons in one hemisphere that connect to cells in the other. Damage to these white matter connections means that communication between brain cells would be poor, leading to cognitive issues.
As a result, there were links between how much marijuana a person smoked and changes in his or her white matter. People who smoked marijuana with higher potent had more damage most of the time than people who smoked less frequently or who smoked weaker marijuana.
“We found that frequent use of high potency cannabis significantly affects the structure of white matter fibers in the brain, whether you have psychosis or not,” author Paola Dazzan reported. “This reflects a sliding scale where the more cannabis you smoke and the higher the potency, the worse the damage will be.”
MAPH Enterprises, LLC | (305) 414-0128 | 1501 Venera Ave, Coral Gables, FL 33146 | firstname.lastname@example.org