Marijuana is perceived as a harmless drug, and its recreational use has gained popularity among young individuals. The concentration of active ingredients in recreational formulations has gradually increased over time, and high-potency illicit cannabinomimetics have become available. Thus, the consumption of cannabis in the general population is rising. Data from preclinical models demonstrate that cannabinoid receptors are expressed in high density in areas involved in cognition and behavior, particularly during periods of active neurodevelopment and maturation. In addition, growing evidence highlights the role of endogenous cannabinoid pathways in the regulation of neurotransmitter release, synaptic plasticity, and neurodevelopment. In animal models, exogenous cannabinoids disrupt these important processes and lead to cognitive and behavioral abnormalities. These data correlate with the higher risk of cognitive impairment reported in some observational studies done in humans. It is unclear whether the effect of cannabis on cognition reverts after abstinence. However, this evidence, along with the increased risk of stroke reported in marijuana users, raises concerns about its potential long-term effects on cognitive function. This scientific statement reviews the safety of cannabis use from the perspective of brain health, describes mechanistically how cannabis may cause cognitive dysfunction, and advocates for a more informed health care worker and consumer about the potential for cannabis to adversely affect the brain.

Use of marijuana: effect on brain health and cognitive impairment

Raul Gonzalez;Miriam Melis;Tiziana Rubino;
2022-01-01

Abstract

Marijuana is perceived as a harmless drug, and its recreational use has gained popularity among young individuals. The concentration of active ingredients in recreational formulations has gradually increased over time, and high-potency illicit cannabinomimetics have become available. Thus, the consumption of cannabis in the general population is rising. Data from preclinical models demonstrate that cannabinoid receptors are expressed in high density in areas involved in cognition and behavior, particularly during periods of active neurodevelopment and maturation. In addition, growing evidence highlights the role of endogenous cannabinoid pathways in the regulation of neurotransmitter release, synaptic plasticity, and neurodevelopment. In animal models, exogenous cannabinoids disrupt these important processes and lead to cognitive and behavioral abnormalities. These data correlate with the higher risk of cognitive impairment reported in some observational studies done in humans. It is unclear whether the effect of cannabis on cognition reverts after abstinence. However, this evidence, along with the increased risk of stroke reported in marijuana users, raises concerns about its potential long-term effects on cognitive function. This scientific statement reviews the safety of cannabis use from the perspective of brain health, describes mechanistically how cannabis may cause cognitive dysfunction, and advocates for a more informed health care worker and consumer about the potential for cannabis to adversely affect the brain.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/344803
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