Long-Term Pot Use Can Alter Your Brain’s Circuitry, Study Finds
After years of recreational marijuana use, you might experience changes in the pathway of your brain — also known as the reward system of your brain, a new study says. Simply put, researchers from The University of Texas at Dallas Center For BrainHealth found that — over time — the drug can disrupt your brain.
A small study of 59 adult long-term marijuana users and 70 nonusers had participants self-report their urges to use the drug after being shown various photos. The photos included things like pot paraphernalia, including bongs, joints and pipes, along with what researchers considered “natural rewards,” such as pieces of fruit, including apples, oranges, and bananas.
The marijuana users had on average been consistently using the drug for around 12 years.
In the nonuser group, researchers saw greater activity in the brain’s reward centers using magnetic resonance imaging when they were shown pieces of fruit. In the marijuana user group, however, they found more activity across their brains’ reward centers when shown pot-related photos compared with those of fruit.
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Published on The Huffington Post June 8, 2016