Teens who use cannabis at risk of schizophrenia

News that confirms what we’ve heard for many years now…

Researchers from Western University in Ontario, Canada, have shed light on the significant, long-term impacts of THC on the adolescent brain, after exposing adolescent rodents to THC.

The team carried out tests in areas of behavior that are commonly observed in schizophrenia and other neuropsychiatric disorders, such as social interaction, motivation and cognition, exploratory behaviors, levels of anxiety, cognitive disorganization - which is the inability to filter out unnecessary information - and various neuronal and molecular changes.

Using a combination of behavioral and molecular analyses with in vivo neuronal electrophysiology, the team compared the long-term effects of THC exposure in adolescents and adults.

Changes in brain resemble features of schizophrenia
Results showed substantial and persistent behavioral, neuronal and molecular changes that are identical to neuropsychiatric conditions, such as schizophrenia.

Adolescent rodents with THC exposure were socially withdrawn and demonstrated increased anxiety, cognitive disorganization and abnormal levels of dopamine, all of which are features of schizophrenia. These changes continued into early adulthood, well past the initial exposure.

Western University researchers found marijuana poses serious consequences for teens, but not adults




I believe this due to personal experience.

Yes - we see it frequently here in our forums.

Cannabis + developing brain = no bueno.


Good point. Unfortunately most people don’t know that brain development continues in a significant way until around age 25 (or so, I believe).


Yep, ~10-25 years old is the age of a maturing brain. Cannabis is bad news all around. I continue to fail to see its supposed benefits.

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Worst part in all of this is there’s no going back it seems. Stuck with a half-developed brain for life. I smoked weed for 15 years starting at 15. Back in the days there wasn’t much info about the impact of early use, I thought it was cool because it was glorified in rap songs I listened to.

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Saw this this morning on one of the medical news service feeds. Probably the tenth piece of research on the subject I have seen all saying pretty much the same thing. Considering the enormous changes to the brain that occur during adolescence – especially including “neural pruning” and regrowth in the limbic emotion regulation system – I am surprised by none of it.

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This is sad but true. We are so vulnerable at a young age. I would like to share this Ted Talk video for some possible hope about someone who was deficient in an area of her brain, and through amazing determination changed her condition! Check it out!

Growing up with a small non-working portion in her brain, Barbara Arrowsmith-Young turned a tragic condition into a life of meaning and fulfillment by growing new brain cells trained to fill in the blanks. The brain’s ability to change physiologically and functionally as a result of stimulation.

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