Adolescent cannabis use, cognition, brain health and educational outcomes: A review of the evidence.
Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2020 Apr 05;:
Authors: Lorenzetti V, Hoch E, Hall W
We review the findings of systematic reviews and meta-analyses of case-control studies that examine brain functioning and cognitive correlates of adolescent cannabis use using structural and functional neuroimaging tools and standardised neuropsychological tests. We also examine prospective epidemiological studies on the possible effects of adolescent and young adult cannabis use on cognitive performance in adult life and the completion of secondary education. We summarize the findings of studies in each of these areas that have been published since the most recent systematic review. Systematic reviews find that adolescent cannabis use is inconsistently associated with alterations in the structure of prefrontal and temporal brain regions. Meta-analyses reveal functional alterations in the parietal cortex and putamen. Differences in the orbitofrontal cortex predate cannabis use; it is unclear if they are affected by continued cannabis use and prolonged abstinence. Longitudinal and twin studies report larger declines in IQ among cannabis users than their non-using peers but it is unclear whether these findings can be attributed to cannabis use or to genetic, mental health and environmental factors. Several longitudinal studies and a meta-analysis of cross-sectional studies suggest that there is some cognitive recovery after abstinence from cannabis. Longitudinal studies and some twin studies have found that cannabis users are less likely to complete secondary school than their non-using controls. This association might reflect an effect of cannabis use and/or the social environment of cannabis users and their cannabis using peers. Cognitive performance is altered in some domains (e.g. IQ, verbal learning) in young people while they are regularly using cannabis. There are two important messages to adolescents and young adults: First, cannabis has potentially detrimental effects on cognition, brain and educational outcomes that persist beyond acute intoxication. Second, impaired cognitive function in cannabis users appears to improve with sustained abstinence.
PMID: 32268974 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]
Source: ncbi 2