Smoking Marijuana Doesn’t Lead to Changes in the Hippocampus, Study Finds

 Photo Credit: the Daily Chronic

Photo Credit: the Daily Chronic

A new study conducted by researchers from the Netherlands and the United Kingdom and published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology has determined the regular use of cannabis by young people does not alter hippocampal volume. Investigators conducted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans at a baseline and a followup around 39 months later in 20 habitual cannabis users and 23 control subjects who did not use cannabis.

The authors explained, “Compared to controls, cannabis users did not show hippocampal volume alterations at either baseline or follow-up. Hippocampal volumes increased over time in both cannabis users and controls, following similar trajectories of increase. Cannabis dose and age of onset of cannabis use did not affect hippocampal volumes… Continued heavy cannabis use did not affect hippocampal neuroanatomical changes in early adulthood. … These data suggest that cannabis users show the same developmental trends as normative samples and that heavy cannabis use in this group may not necessarily interfere with hippocampal changes in neuroanatomy in early adulthood.”

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