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Ralph Teller

Regular Marijuana Use Shrinks Brain Size

Ralph Teller, Ironman Triathlete

Regular cannabis use has significant effects on the shape, size and performance of the brain

A new study has found that someone who uses marijuana regularly has, on average, less gray matter the front brain, compared to people who do not smoke marijuana.

The front part of the brain is called the orbital frontal cortex. This region of the brain plays a key role in the brain's reward, motivation, decision-making and addictive behaviors network. The frontal brain is vital to the cognitive processes of decision-making. This brain shrinkage appears to lessen motivation and decision making capabilities.

Questions surrounding the effects of chronic marijuana use on brain structure continue to increase!

Ben Cort, director of the Center for Dependency, Addiction & Rehabilitation at the University of Colorado Hospital, has stated that the study showed once again that pot is "not a benign substance."

The lead author of the study, published by the National Academy of Sciences, is Francesca Filbey, Associate Professor, University of Texas Center for Brain Health. See Long-term effects of marijuana use on the brain.

Other studies have found marijuana can damage physical and mental health as follows:

  • Highly Addictive. One in six teenagers who regularly smoke the drug become dependent on it.
  • Mental Disorders. Cannabis doubles the risk of developing psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia
  • Leads to Hard Drug Use. One in ten adults who regularly smoke marijuana become dependent on it and those who use it are more likely to go on to use harder drugs.
  • Harmful to Children. Smoking marijuana while pregnant reduces the baby’s birth weight, potentially causing serious long lasting health problems.
  • Dangerous while Driving. Driving after smoking marijuana doubles the risk of having a crash or accident.
  • Intellectual Impairment. Heavy use in adolescence appears to impair intellectual development and lowers educational attainment.
  • More about Ralph Teller. See Ralph's 1Vigor Log Calendar.

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