Marijuana's Effects on Brain Structure and Function: What Do We Know and What Should We Do? A Brief Review and Commentary

Published:September 18, 2018DOI:


      The recent US Food and Drug Administration approval of the marijuana constituent cannabidiol as safe and effective for treatment of 2 rare forms of epilepsy has raised hopes that others of the 500 chemicals in marijuana will be found to be therapeutic. However, the long-term consequences of street marijuana use are unclear, and recent studies raise red flags about its effects. Changes in brain maturation and intellectual function, including decreases in intelligence quotient, have been noted in chronic users and appear permanent in early users in most but not all studies. These studies suggest that at a minimum, regular marijuana use should be discouraged in individuals under the age of 21.


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