Smoking pot can damage your brain in the longrun: Study

Marijuana can affect your brain's ability to produce a hormone called dopamine, which is also known as the 'feel good' hormone.

According to a recent study, smoking cannabis does have a detrimental effect on the brain.The drug compromises the release of dopamine, a chemical that is integral to the brain's reward system, in areas of the brain linked to learning and memory. Read: Prenatal exposure to marijuana can affect your child s vision.

Lead author Anissa Abi-Dargham, from Columbia University Medical Center, said that the bottom line is that long-term, heavy cannabis use may impair the dopaminergic system, which could have a variety of negative effects on learning and behavior. This study was published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.

Researchers noted lower levels of dopamine release in the striatum, a region of the brain that is involved in working memory, impulsive behaviour and attention. This is how marijuana slows down your brain.

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Their study included 11 adults, between the ages of 21 and 40, who were severely dependent on cannabis and 12 matched, healthy control participants.

Jeffrey Lieberman, MD, chair of psychiatry at CUMC and past president of the American Psychiatric Association, noted that these findings add to the growing body of research demonstrating the potentially adverse effects of cannabis, particularly in youth, at the same time that government policies and laws are increasing access and use. Read: Using marijuana can make you forget words.

Source: ANI

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