Thursday, July 3, 2014

Casual Pot Use and Brain Changes, 3

Study results (recently published in the Journal of Neuroscience related to recreational use of marijuana and brain changes in the amygdala and nucleus accumbens) fit with animal studies that show when rats are given tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)—the mind-altering ingredient contained in marijuana—their brains rewire to form many new connections. In animals, these new connections indicate the brain is adapting to the unnatural level of reward and stimulation from marijuana. The result of these new connections is to make other natural rewards less satisfying. Lead author Jodi Gilman said, “It may be that we’re seeing a type of drug learning in the brain. “We think when people are in the process of becoming addicted, their brains form these new connections.”

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