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Weeding Through Marijuana's Effects on the Brain

Neurons in a blue background.

JAMA Psychiatry

Francesca M. Filbey, PhD

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Marijuana (cannabis) is the most commonly used illicit substance in America. However, more and more findings are revealing altered brain structure and function associated with such substance use. The critical question surrounding cannabis use in neuroscientific research is if these brain alterations are a cause or a consequence of cannabis use. Solving such questions could lead to more informed decisions regarding the safety and legality of the substance’s use and the development of appropriate interventions and rehabilitation for users. Determining causality in research can take years, even decades, but in the meantime, the current research is providing valuable insight into the possible effects of the substance.

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Francesca Filbey, PhD

Bert Moore Endowed Chair and Professor, School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences Director, Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory of Addictive Disorders