A new Canadian study has found that the daily intake of cannabis by teenagers can lead to depression and anxiety and can even damage the brain permanently.
The study conducted by Dr. Gabriella Gobbi, a psychiatric researcher from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, pointed out that cannabis can harm young brains much more than earlier thought.
Talking about the purpose of the research Dr. Gobbi said: "We wanted to know what happens in the brains of teenagers when they use cannabis and whether they are more susceptible to its neurological effects than adults."
Dr. Gobbi's report shows how cannabis affects serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain. Both these compounds play a significant role in the regulation of neurological functions like mood control and anxiety.
She said: "Teenagers who are exposed to cannabis have decreased serotonin transmission, which leads to mood disorders, as well as increased norepinephrine transmission, which leads to greater long-term susceptibility to stress."
"Our study is one of the first to focus on the neurobiological mechanisms at the root of this influence of cannabis on depression and anxiety in adolescents," Dr. Gobbi added.
The study has appeared in Neurobiology of Disease.