A study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry has revealed that chronic cannabis users who started smoking before they reached the age of 15 performed worse in neuropsychological tasks than those who started later.
Research was conducted by the Federal University of Sao Paulo in Brazil and involved looking at the mental functioning of 100 cannabis users after 10 years of consistent use as well as 50 non-users.
The researchers found that 49 users who started smoking the drug before they were 15 were significantly worse at sustaining attention, controlling impulses and executive functioning.
In a test which required card-sorting the early users also made far more errors than the 55 participants who had taken up the habit later in life and the 44 participants who had never taken the drug.
‘We found that early-onset, but not late-onset, chronic cannabis users had deficits in their cognitive functioning.’ Commented head of research Dr Maria Fontes.
‘Adolescence is a period in which the brain appears to be particularly vulnerable to the neurotoxic effects of cannabis.
‘The brain before the age of 15 is still developing and maturing, so exposure to cannabis during this period may be more harmful.’ She added.
If you are a cannabis smoker and are concerned that you are becoming too reliant upon the drug then your first port of call should be your GP who will be able to provide you with professional advice on the next steps. Alternatively, many addicts have found hypnotherapy to be of great benefit and if you would like to find out more about how it may be able to help you, please visit our fact-sheet on hypnotherapy for drug abuse.
View the original Daily Mail article.