Marijuana Usage Linked to Brain Damage
(Spring 2015) A recent study found that individuals who used marijuana four or more times weekly during a six-month period, classified as heavy or chronic users, showed a size reduction in the brain’s orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). This location regulates reward, decision making and motivation, all of which are compromised by addiction. In addition, the researchers found a correlation between marijuana usage and lower IQ, as study participants averaged five points lower on an intelligence test than non-users.
Individuals who began using marijuana as youth presented more severe brain damage, highlighting both the susceptibility of young brains and the consequences of long-term use.
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