Tetrahydrocannabinol, the main active ingredient in cannabis, is linked to changes in how oxygen “travels” through the brain. This may correlate with changes in brain functions in the long-term, a new study argues.

Cannabis, or marijuana – the drug extracted from various species of the cannabis plant – is the most widely used illicit drug in the United States, according to data from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

Recently, medical marijuana – which is used for health treatment purposes – has been legalized in a number of U.S. states. Some studies suggest that controlled cannabis use can reduce chronic pain, and Medical News Today have reported on research that linked marijuana with lower stress levels in consumers.

However, medical marijuana has not yet been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a safe product to use, and some studies suggest that it can have negative effects, such as psychological decline, on long-term users.

Considering the split opinions on the pros and cons of using cannabis, as well as its widespread use both recreationally and for medical purposes, it is important for specialists to gain a better understanding of its effects on the human system.

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Published on Medical News Today August 16, 2017