Consuming marijuana does not change the brain
On marijuana or off it, the brain pretty much stays the same. A recent study of brain morphology that focused on cannabis consumption shows that marijuana has “no significant effects on cortical surface morphology.”
Researchers compared the brain morphology of 121 people included in a control group with that of 140 cannabis consumers. The results were published last week in the European Neuropsychopharmacology journal and indicated that there was no difference in cortical thickness, gyrification index or surface area between those who consumed cannabis and those who didn’t. Those three areas are those most often associated with cognitive function.
According to the researchers, who studied the brains using MRI scans, “While regular cannabis use has been associated with altered cortical morphology, previous findings have not been consistent in terms of the direction or region of alteration, which included increase, decrease, and lack of change in cortical morphology, across all four cortical lobes. Here, we comprehensively examined cortical thickness, surface area, and gyrification index in relation to cannabis use, dependence, and onset age, across the whole cortex, and demonstrated no significant effects on cortical surface morphology.”
The results show a completely different reaction on the brain than what has previously been generally accepted. It mirrors another recent study on the effects of marijuana on the brain, which showed that marijuana could actually improve working memory.