June 16, 2024
Brain Activity

Brain Imaging Study Explores THC’s Effects on Cognitive Function

New research published in the journal “Nature Communications” reveals how tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis, disrupts brain activity and may lead to cognitive impairment. The study, led by researchers at the University of Montreal in Canada, used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine the brains of 12 healthy volunteers before and after they consumed THC in capsule form.

The findings showed that THC significantly altered Brain Health in several key areas, including the hippocampus, which plays a crucial role in learning and memory. Specifically, THC reduced the connectivity between the hippocampus and other brain regions, suggesting that this disruption could contribute to cognitive impairment.

Additionally, the study found that THC affected the default mode network (DMN), a brain network involved in self-referential processing and introspection. The researchers noted that the disruption of the DMN could explain the altered perception of time and self-awareness commonly reported by cannabis users.

The researchers emphasized that their findings do not necessarily mean that occasional cannabis use is harmful. However, they did caution that long-term, heavy use could lead to more significant cognitive impairment. The study adds to the growing body of evidence suggesting that cannabis use, particularly in adolescence, can have negative effects on brain development.

The study’s lead author, Dr. Gabrielle de Montigny, stated, “Our results provide new insights into the neural mechanisms underlying the cognitive effects of THC. They also highlight the need for further research into the long-term consequences of cannabis use.”
The new brain imaging study provides valuable insights into how THC in cannabis disrupts brain activity and may contribute to cognitive impairment. The findings add to the growing body of evidence suggesting that long-term, heavy cannabis use could have negative effects on brain development.

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