Marijuana does not affect Brain Volume: JAMA Psychiatry Study

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on August 28, 2015.

While a lot has been said about the use and side-effects of marijuana in the past, public health experts always raised concerns about potential link between substance use and structural changes in the brain. However, a new study seeks to allay all fears and apprehensions while comparing the brains of marijuana users and non-users to their siblings.

The study, published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, shows how the researchers studied a large group of siblings in the age group of 22-35. Out of 483 people studied, 262 were found using marijuana even just once. The researchers then split the men and women into three groups - siblings who both had never used marijuana, siblings who both reported using marijuana, and pairs where one had used marijuana and the other did not.

As per the established belief, the differences in brain volume would be visible in pairs with one user and one non-user. But, both exposed and unexposed siblings were found to have the same volume. “We found no evidence for the causal influence of cannabis exposure on amygdala volume,” the authors concluded.

The study did not find any evidence to suggest that brain volume had any effect on whether or not a person uses marijuana. As there have been conflicting reports on the same subject, further research is required in this field to determine whether marijuana really has any effects on brain volume or not.

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