Study: Casual Pot Use Can Cause Brain Abnormalities

Even casual use of marijuana can be detrimental to your brain.
Even casual use of marijuana can be detrimental to your brain. (iStock photo)

Casual marijuana use could harm your brain, according to a new study from Northwestern University.

Researchers discovered that when young adults ages 18-25 smoke pot just once or twice a week, abnormalities form in two brain structures.

MRIs enabled the scientists to study two key parts of brain regions responsible for processing emotions, making decisions, and motivation.

Both parts became abnormal among casual pot smokers. The more often people smoked, the worse the abnormalities became.

“The study links the chronic use of marijuana to these concerning brain abnormalities that appear to last for at least a few years after people stop using it,” said lead study author Matthew Smith, an assistant research professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

“With the movement to decriminalize marijuana, we need more research to understand its effect on the brain.”

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