Friday April 19, 2019

Cannabis Use Has Lasting Effects on Cognitive Skills in Teenagers Than Alcohol

Moreover, these increased with cannabis use and also were long-lasting compared to alcohol

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While both alcohol and marijuana misuse are known to be associated with impairments in learning, memory, attention and decision-making, as well as with lower academic performance, a new study claimed that cannabis use has lasting effects on cognitive skills in teenagers than alcohol.

The findings, led by researchers at Universite de Montreal, showed cannabis affected cognitive functions such as perceptual reasoning, memory recall, working memory and inhibitory control.

Moreover, these increased with cannabis use and also were long-lasting compared to alcohol.

“Increases in cannabis use, but not alcohol consumption, showed additional concurrent and lagged effects on cognitive functions such as perceptual reasoning, memory recall, working memory and inhibitory control,” said Patricia Conrod, from the varsity.

“Of particular concern was the finding that cannabis use was associated with lasting effects on a measure of inhibitory control, which is a risk factor for other addictive behaviours, and might explain why early onset cannabis use is a risk factor for other addictions,” added Jean-Francois G. Morin, doctoral student at Montreal.

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Cannabis more ‘toxic’ to teenage brains than alcohol: Study. Pixabay

“Some of these effects are even more pronounced when consumption begins earlier in adolescence,” Morin added.

For the study, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, the team followed a sample of 3,826 Canadian high school students from 7th to 10th grade over a period of four years.

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In a context where policies and attitudes regarding substance use are being reconsidered, this research highlights the importance of protecting youth from the adverse effects of consumption through greater investment in drug-prevention programmes.

“While this study did not detect effects of teenage alcohol consumption on cognitive development, the neurotoxic effects may be observable in specific subgroups differentiated based on the level of consumption, gender or age,” Morin said. (IANS)

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Regular Pot Smokers May Need Higher Dosage for Sedation: Study

Cannabis use in the United States increased 43 per cent between 2007 and 2015. An estimated 13.5 per cent of the adult population used cannabis during this period, with the greatest increase recorded among people 26 and older

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An employee inspects the leaf of a cannabis plant at a medical marijuana plantation in northern Israel. (VOA)

People who regularly use cannabis may require more than two times the usual level of sedation when undergoing medical procedures, warns a new study.

“Some of the sedative medications have dose-dependent side effects, meaning the higher the dose, the greater likelihood for problems,” said lead researcher Mark Twardowski from Western Medical Associates in Colorado, US.

“That becomes particularly dangerous when suppressed respiratory function is a known side effect,” Twardowski added.

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In this July 12, 2018 file photo, a newly-transplanted cannabis cuttings grow in pots at a medical marijuana cultivation facility in Massachusetts. (VOA)

For the study, the researchers in Colorado examined the medical records of 250 patients who received endoscopic procedures after 2012, when the state legalised recreational cannabis.

Patients who smoked or ingested cannabis on a daily or weekly basis required 14 per cent more fentanyl, 20 per cent more midazolam, and 220 per cent more propofol to achieve optimum sedation for routine procedures, including colonoscopy, showed the findings published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.

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“Cannabis has some metabolic effects we don’t understand and patients need to know that their cannabis use might make other medications less effective. We’re seeing some problematic trends anecdotally, and there is virtually no formal data to provide a sense of scale or suggest any evidence-based protocols,” Twardowski said.

Cannabis use in the United States increased 43 per cent between 2007 and 2015. An estimated 13.5 per cent of the adult population used cannabis during this period, with the greatest increase recorded among people 26 and older, according to the study. (IANS)