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Marijuana May Cause Schizophrenia-like Conditions in a Teenager’s Brain but Not in Adults, Says Study

Update Date: Jan 14, 2016 02:27 PM EST

If you are a teenager and getting stoned on pot then the consequences for you can be much greater than it is for the adults, as per the latest study conducted by researchers in London. Western University's Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry researchers recently published a study that reveals that the psychoactive portion of cannabis causes more long-term damage to the brain of adolescent rats which is similar to the one found in Schizophrenia. "Adolescence is a critical period of brain development and the adolescent brain is particularly vulnerable," said Steven Laviolette, a professor in the departments of anatomy and cell biology, and psychiatry. "Health policy makers need to ensure that marijuana, especially marijuana strains with high THC levels, stays out of the hands of teenagers. In contrast, our findings suggest that adult use of marijuana does not pose substantial risk," as reported by National Post

In United States, smoking pot is one of the most commonly consumed drug that made up 81% of the illegal drug users as per 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Marijuana use is popular among young adults and teens where it has been seen used by 8th, 10th and 12th graders and the perception of its risks has declined. According to the study, there has been an increase in the use of marijuana between 2012 and 2013 as compared to a decade before. The spike, however, has not been medical related said the researchers after they interviewed more than 36,000 Americans over 18 years. As per the lead author of the study, Dr. Justine Renard, there has not only been a rise in the use of marijuana amongst adolescents but also the THC content that is found in the new strains of cannabis. Lead author Dr. Justine Renard cited not just a rise in adolescent use of cannabis, but also increasing THC content, the component that causes behavioral, neural and molecular changes identical to Schizophrenia, in newer cannabis strains, says Tech Times

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