Posted: 04/17/14 00:28, Edited: 04/17/14 00:31
by Dave Mindeman
On cue, a study was released regarding marijuana use in the young. And as you might expect there are concerns....
Science Daily reports researchers compared the size, shape, and density of the nucleus accumbens and the amygdala - a brain region that plays a central role in emotion - in 20 marijuana users and 20 non-users.
Researchers also found a direct correlation between the number of times users smoked and abnormalities in the brain. A brain region called the nucleus accumbens, known to be involved in reward processing -- was larger and altered in its shape and structure in the marijuana users compared to non-users.
The study (which incidently seems like a small sample) also had a lot of things it didn't say. It didn't know what the significance of this finding is for certain. They only know that they have concerns on changes in that area.
They downplayed the fact that alcohol also affects that area of the brain. So does nicotine. The marijuana changes were different from alcohol, but again, what significance that has was not delineated.
More information is needed....
Researchers say the findings also highlight the importance of research aimed at understanding the long-term effects of low to moderate marijuana use on the brain.
Except there has already been a lot of research. And the use of marijuana is not a new concept. We know that marijuana affects mood and reduces inhibitive behavior. Alcohol and nicotine have those type of effects as well.
Yes, more study is warranted. And we can continue those studies while we allow for the limited use of medicinal marijuana. This is not a drug that was just discovered. It is not a drug that needs clinical trials to find out its effects. The effects are known....and some of those effects have true medicinal value.
There will be more studies to come, but that shouldn't stop us from moving forward on what is already known to be the benefits of this drug.