According to a new study, which will soon be published in the scientific journal Addiction, there is no link between the continuous use of cannabis and changes in the structure of the brain.
For the study, researchers used MRI screenings to evaluate the connection between frequent marijuana use and the volumes of gray matter in seven brain regions. They inspected the thalamus, putamen, caudate nucleus, pallidum, amygdala, hippocampus, and nucleus accumbens.
The researchers found no connection between cannabis use and brain morphology.
In total, 20 researchers from 13 institutions across the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom participated in the study; they looked into the relationship between habitual marijuana use and the structure of the brain in 1,096 middle-aged men and young adults.
During the research, researchers also recorded the maximum alcohol and nicotine use, and total lifespan multi-drug use of the subjects. Here is what they found; in middle-aged men, there was a strong connection between nicotine and substantial decreases in the size of the thalamus. The thalamus is in charge of relaying sensory signals and regulating sleep, consciousness, and alertness.
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