Indiana University researchers have received a $3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Drug Abuse. A team will be led by clinical psychologist and neuroscientist William Hetrick to study the effects of long-term marijuana use on the brains of 18-38 year-olds.
The funding aims to help close a large gap in knowledge about how cannabis affects the brain, especially in young people.
The research team will focus on studying effects in the neural networks within the cerebellum as well as what connects the cerebellum to other brain regions, as these are the areas reported to be most impacted by marijuana use.
"When you consider that 40 percent of all 19- to 22-year-olds in the U.S. used marijuana in the past year, it behooves us to understand how it affects its users," Hetrick said in a news release. "An obvious place to start is by asking, ‘What’s the effect on brain systems that are dependent on the brain’s cannabinoid receptor system?’"