Studies have shown that cannabis can help treat symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but a new study published in the journal Addiction points out that research on the effects of cannabis on brains of young people with ADHD is still in early stages.
Marijuana (also known as weed, marijuana, herb, reefer, weed, pot, marijuana, bud, and ganja) is a plant that is from the same family as the common cannabis plant, but it is much different than the common cannabis plant. It has been used for a long time as a recreational drug, but now it is also a very controversial drug used in the war on drugs. Some people say it has many positive benefits for the body and even claim that it can help people with ADHD to stop taking medication for ADHD.
A new study suggests that adolescent cannabis use may impair a brain structure that regulates attention and behavior. While researchers have associated cannabis use with different neurological disorders, the relationship between cannabis use and ADHD is a controversial topic.US researchers say there is not yet enough information to determine whether or not cannabis use affects brain development or function in adolescents and young adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
The finding is part of a comprehensive new study published last week in the July/August issue of the Harvard Review of Psychiatry.
So far, there is no clear evidence of addictive effects or interactions – protective or harmful – with cannabis use, write Dr. Philip Cockwell of Stanford University School of Medicine and his fellow researchers.
To draw safer conclusions, more research is needed into the possible effects of cannabis on brain structure, brain function and behavior in adolescents with ADHD, reports Wolters Kluwer Health, the journal’s publisher.
In an effort to determine the joint effects of cannabis use and ADHD in adolescence, researchers examined 11 studies that assessed some neurodevelopmental outcome in the age group that did and did not use marijuana.
Although none of the studies found an additive or non-additive interaction between ADHD and cannabis use on neuropsychological tasks of executive function, two studies did find negative differential effects of early cannabis use in this population, according to the abstract.
The increasing availability and legalization of cannabis in the U.S. is concerning given that about a quarter of teens with substance use disorders also have ADHD, and that teens with ADHD are six times more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol, Wolters Kluwer said in a press release.
Because ADHD and cannabis use have been linked to cognitive impairment, it was thought that adolescents with ADHD might be particularly vulnerable to the effects of cannabis on cognitive functioning, according to the press release.
Factors that need to be further explored to get a clearer picture of cannabis use and ADHD in adolescents include differences in the effects of cannabis at younger ages, the role of marijuana potency, and frequency of use. / PHOTO ARTRANQ / ISTOCK / GETTY IMAGES PLUS
The researchers urge caution in drawing conclusions from the previous studies reviewed.
The limited, perhaps inconclusive, data do not support the hypothesis that cannabis use has adverse effects on neuropsychological tasks in transition-age adolescents with ADHD, the abstract states. However, larger, longer-term studies are needed to better inform doctors and patients about the effects of cannabis use in adolescents with ADHD, the report said.
Surprisingly, given that cannabis use has clear and consistent negative effects on cognition, as measured by performance on neuropsychological tasks, no study has found a significantly different effect of cannabis use on these measures in people with ADHD compared to those who do not use cannabis, according to a statement quoting the study’s authors.
Factors that need to be further explored to get a clearer picture of cannabis use and ADHD in adolescents include differences in the effects of cannabis at younger ages, the role of marijuana potency, and frequency of use.
The goal is to get answers to questions that have not yet been asked, such as whether cannabis actually alters neural circuits in adolescents with ADHD, how it affects task performance and, perhaps most importantly, long-term functional outcomes in adolescents with ADHD who also use cannabis, the authors said in a statement.Research has shown that marijuana can have negative effects on the brain development of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). But researchers are at an impasse when it comes to determining whether or not the drug changes brain development.. Read more about smoking while on ritalin and let us know what you think.
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