Longitudinal study of hippocampal volumes in heavy cannabis users.

SAGE Journals

“Cannabis exposure, particularly heavy cannabis use, has been associated with neuroanatomical alterations in regions rich with cannabinoid receptors such as the hippocampus in some but not in other (mainly cross-sectional) studies. However, it remains unclear whether continued heavy cannabis use alters hippocampal volume, and whether an earlier age of onset and/or a higher dosage exacerbate these changes.

Compared to controls, cannabis users did not show hippocampal volume alterations at either baseline or follow-up. Hippocampal volumes increased over time in both cannabis users and controls, following similar trajectories of increase. Cannabis dose and age of onset of cannabis use did not affect hippocampal volumes.

Continued heavy cannabis use did not affect hippocampal neuroanatomical changes in early adulthood. This contrasts with prior evidence on alterations in this region in samples of older adult cannabis users. In young adults using cannabis at this level, cannabis use may not be heavy enough to affect hippocampal neuroanatomy.”

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