$2million NIH grant to study cannabis in adolescents

million NIH grant to study cannabis in adolescents
Cannabis Health News

Researchers in the US have received more than $2million from the NIH’s National Institute on Drug Abuse to study the impact of cannabis use during adolescence. The current research into the impact of adolescent cannabis use on mental health is conflicted. While some scientists have found evidence that suggests it could lead to psychosis and conditions such as schizophrenia in later life, other recent research appears to have disputed these findings. Researchers at at the Indiana University Gill Center for Biomolecular Science are now aiming to gain a deeper understanding of the effects of teenage cannabis use with a $2million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The team of neuroscientists are specifically focused on studying cannabis use in adolescents aged 12 to 14, during this critical period of brain development. Hui-Chen Lu, director of the Gill Center and a professor in the IU Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences said there is a “significant public health concern” associated with cannabis strains that are bred for increased THC content. “It’s very different and much riskier than the more traditional strains used in the past,” Lu said. “There’s an urgent need to understand the effects of these new strains.” Ken Mackie, a Jack and Linda Gill Chair of the Gill Center and a professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, said some studies indicate that heavy use of cannabis with high THC – particularly cannabis use that begins between ages 12 and 14 – could increase the risk of schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders from two- to five-fold. “One of the functions of the prefrontal cortex is working memory, as well as processes like planning and impulse control,” Mackie said. “That part of the brain is still developing in adolescence and developing brain structures are particularly vulnerable to…

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Source : million NIH grant to study cannabis in adolescents

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