Recent research from the authors of the study, Didier Jutras-Aswad of the University of Montreal and Dr. Yasmin Hurd of New York’s Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City released a statement:
…the long-term impact of adolescent cannabis exposure on brain and behavior, the current evidence suggests that it has a far-reaching influence on adult addictive behavior, particularly for certain subsets of vulnerable individuals.
According to the research marijuana interacts with the brain of teenagers through chemical receptors situated in the areas responsible for
- Learning and management of rewards
- Motivated behavior
- Decision making
- Habit formation
- Motor function.
Since the brain changes quickly during adolescence, marijuana can affect how these traits develop.
The authors of the scientific research believe:
Individuals who will develop cannabis dependence generally report a temperament characterized by negative affect, agressivity and impulsivity, from an early age. Some of these traits become trapped in a vicious cycle of self-medication, which in turn becomes dependence.
The results of the study concluded that marijuana use is not harmless for teenagers and further study needs to be done to learn whether it is a “gateway” drug that can lead to addition to other serious drug uses and psychosis.