According to a new Swedish study, smoking marijuana can be more dangerous to young people than was previously thought.
“New research indicates that even very modest use can cause a lot of damage,” said Nils Stenstrom of the Swedish National Institute of Public Health in a report by The Local.
In recent years the usage of marijuana among Swedish youths has been on the decline, but the new study suggests the trend may be over.
“Unfortunately, there are signs in the most recent studies that this positive trend has been broken. An increased use of cannabis has been reported among both students in grade nine as well as by students in their second year of high school,” stated Stenstrom.
In 2008, The Institute of Public Health carried out extensive research into marijuana use with the results contained in the new report which suggests that the drug is far from harmless. The report, ‘Damages caused by hash and Marijuana’, shows that schizophrenia and psychosis can both be brought on by marijuana.
“Cannabis can bring about the onset of latent psychiatric illnesses and the drug can cause serious psychiatric illnesses on its own,” according to Stenstrom who also said suggestions that marijuana was a harmless drug were “misleading”.
As with any drug, the effects on young brains can be particularly damaging, with a number of studies revealing that even occasional use amongst teenagers can prove problematic. “The young brain which is under development is especially vulnerable. It shows that cannabis can cause damage which can, among other things, reduce memory capacity and the ability to learn,” Stenstrom claimed.