INDIANA: Though marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug in the country, little is definitively known about its impact on the brain.
A study taking place at Indiana University is designed to help change that.
Clinical psychologist Brian O’Donnell and colleague Sharlene Newman are recruiting current and former marijuana users to participate in a study in which their brains will be analyzed for changes in structure and function.
“From animal studies, there’s reason to believe it (marijuana use) will affect parts of the brain and also the connections between them, and some of our preliminary studies suggest that is the case,” said O’Donnell, a professor in the department of psychological and brain sciences.
The study — funded by a $275,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health — is taking place as marijuana gains acceptance in some parts of the country. Marijuana has been legalized for recreational use in Colorado, Washington state, Alaska and Oregon, and many states now have medical marijuana programs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.