Tuesday October 16, 2018

Maternal Cannabis Use to Trigger Early Indulgence in Kids

The researchers also analysed the impacts of mother's marijuana use on child's cognitive skills, family's socio-economic position and social environment

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Maternal cannabis use likely to trigger early indulgence in kids. pixabay
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Children whose mothers use Cannabis are more likely to start smoking weed an average of two years earlier, which can lead to severe neuropsychiatric and social consequences, according to a new study.

The results, led by researchers from the Brown University in Rhode Island, US, suggested that mothers who used marijuana increased their children’s risk for its early use, at a median age of 16, as compared with age 18 for children whose mothers did not use the drug.

While marijuana has been recognised as a therapeutic benefit for a number of health conditions, including a safer alternative to opioids, it has been linked with negative consequences among children.

Early usage of cannabis may lead to conditions such as impairments in concentration and decision-making, increased impulsivity, as well as reductions in IQ.

The younger a child begins using marijuana, the more severe the effects would be. Therefore, delaying marijuana initiation may be an important public health goal, the researchers said.

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

“Beginning marijuana use at a young age has been linked with negative cognitive and behavioural consequences,” said Natasha Sokol, a postdoctoral student at the varsity.

“It’s important to better understand how these changes may impact children’s early marijuana use so that we can better identify at-risk youth and implement effective prevention strategies,” she added.

For the study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the team assessed the timing and extent of marijuana use and initiation among 4,440 children and 2,586 mothers.

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They tested the effect of a mother’s marijuana use between a child’s birth and age 12 on that child’s subsequent risk of marijuana initiation and controlling for factors related to the child’s early life behaviour.

The researchers also analysed the impacts of mother’s marijuana use on child’s cognitive skills, family’s socio-economic position and social environment. (IANS)

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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.

Cannabis
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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