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New Study Reveals Greater Health Risks of Adolescent Cannabis Use Compared to Adults



A new study shows that adolescents are more prone to cannabis use disorder and its adverse effects than adults. 


Led by Dr. Rachel Lees at the University of Bath, the study showed that despite similar usage patterns, adolescents scored consistently higher on measures of cannabis use disorder, which includes symptoms such as failed attempts to quit, interference with daily life, and mental health deterioration. Notably, 70% of adolescents reported that cannabis hindered their daily responsibilities, compared to 20% of adults. 


Experts believe adolescents exhibit heightened susceptibility to cannabis use disorder due to their ongoing brain development. With young brains displaying greater neuroplasticity, they are predisposed to the impacts of psychoactive substances.


Over a three-month period, the University of Bath assessed 70 adults and 76 adolescents who frequently used cannabis.


“We hope these findings will increase awareness among young people of the potential risks from cannabis use, encouraging them to consider ways they can mitigate these risks such as stopping or reducing use,” shared Dr. Lees in a press release. “What we need to do now is to generate safer use guidelines for people who use cannabis-based on levels of consumption, in the same way that alcohol guidelines can help people who drink to reduce their risks.”


To review the study’s findings, access the European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience article. 


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