Does Cannabis Affect Brain Development in Young People with ADHD? Too Soon To Tell, Reports Harvard Review of PsychiatryPosted by On


Newswise — June 18, 2021 – At least so far, the currently limited research base does not establish that cannabis has additional adverse effects on brain development or functioning in adolescents or young adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), concludes a review in the July/August issue of Harvard Review of Psychiatry. The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.

While ADHD is clinically defined to have impairments in cognitive functioning, cannabis use by itself is also associated with cognitive impairments: “[T]he evidence to date does not clearly support either an addictive effect or an interaction – whether protective or harmful – with cannabis use,” according to the study by Philip B. Cawkwell, MD, of Stanford University School of Medicine, and colleagues. They underscore the need for further research to clarify possible effects of cannabis on brain structure, function, and behavior in young people with ADHD.

‘Urgent need’ for definitive studies of cannabis risk in teens with ADHD

The trends toward legalization and increased accessibility and potency of cannabis pose special concerns in young people living with ADHD. About one-fourth of teens with substance use disorder also have ADHD, while youth with ADHD are six times more likely to have drug or alcohol abuse. Some people with ADHD may even feel that cannabis improves their symptoms, studies suggest. Both groups have similar difficulties on cognitive…

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Newswise — June 18, 2021 – At least so far, the currently limited research base does not establish that cannabis has additional adverse effects on brain development or functioning in adolescents or young adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), concludes a review in the July/August issue of Harvard Review of Psychiatry. The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.

While ADHD is clinically defined to have impairments in cognitive functioning, cannabis use by itself is also associated with cognitive impairments: “[T]he evidence to date does not clearly support either an addictive effect or an interaction – whether protective or harmful – with cannabis use,” according to the study by Philip B. Cawkwell, MD, of Stanford University School of Medicine, and colleagues. They underscore the need for further research to clarify possible effects of cannabis on brain structure, function, and behavior in young people with ADHD.

‘Urgent need’ for definitive studies of cannabis risk in teens with ADHD

The trends toward legalization and increased accessibility and potency of cannabis pose special concerns in young people living with ADHD. About one-fourth of teens with substance use disorder also have ADHD, while youth with ADHD are six times more likely to have drug or alcohol abuse. Some people with ADHD may even feel that cannabis improves their symptoms, studies suggest. Both groups have similar difficulties on cognitive…



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