The research and results on how cannabis can affect the developing brain in children and young adults are frustratingly mixed. While we acknowledge evidence that shows how cannabis can have positive and powerful effects on children suffering from severe health conditions, we do not promote the use of cannabis on children. We encourage our members to do their own research and to consult a physician when using cannabis products. Below is a list of articles containing information and research that we encourage you to read if you are under the age of 25 and using cannabis.
- Health effects on youth
“Cannabis use that begins early in adolescence, that is frequent and that continues over time has been associated with increased risk of harms. Some of those harms may not be fully reversible. Adolescence is a critical time for brain development, as research shows the brain is not fully developed until around age 25. Youth are especially vulnerable to the effects of cannabis on brain development and function. This is because THC in cannabis affects the same biological system in the brain that directs brain development. It is important for parents, teachers, coaches, and other trusted adults to be ready to talk with youth about drugs.”
- Altered brains
“Indeed, a number of studies have found evidence of brain changes in teens and young adults who smoke marijuana. In 2013, Rocío Martín-Santos, MD, Ph.D., at the University of Barcelona, and colleagues reviewed 43 studies of chronic cannabis use and the brain. They found consistent evidence of both structural brain abnormalities and altered neural activity in marijuana users. Only eight of those studies focused on adolescents, but the findings from those studies suggested that both structural and functional brain changes emerge soon after adolescents start using the drug. Those changes may still be evident after a month of abstaining from the drug, the researchers reported (PLOS ONE, 2013).”
RISK OF PSYCHOSIS
“Teens smoke pot for its mild hallucinogenic effects, but in some cases, cannabis may trigger a more serious break from reality. The cannabis-psychosis link has long been a chicken-or-egg question since people with schizophrenia are known to self-medicate by smoking pot. One in four schizophrenia patients is diagnosed with a cannabis-use disorder, according to a 2010 review.”
- Does CBD have the potential to harm brain development like THC? "Here is my logic, the human body is very predictable. It has receptor sites for CBD and as I stated we see nothing but positive effects of its use. CBD’s are extremely effective in treating both childhood epilepsy and other brain issues and this is well documented. This is a natural substance that has positive effects when used to treat a litany of health issues. I subscribe and agree with Dr. Rush and his theory of CBD Deficiency syndrome."