A potent marijuana or pot goes hand-in-hand with brain damage, according to research published on Nov 27 in Psychological Medicine. The findings suggest that the potency of the drug matters when it comes to brain damage.

People who reported using high-potency marijuana showed signs of damage in the corpus callosum, the part of the brain that connects the right side of the brain to the left side. Experts claim that the damage may be a sign that the drug makes the brain tissue weak.

The researchers studied the brains of 43 healthy people, with half the subjects using cannabis. The brain’s white matter, highways that carry messages, was examined. Researchers also asked about the participants’ cannabis use and how potent the drug was.

However, the researchers admit that smoking high-potency marijuana does not directly cause the damage, Science News reports. The team also say that no known effects of pot to impulse and memory are proven, which is why further studies are needed to observe how marijuana affects memory and other behaviours.

The researchers say that this information is important especially to young people. They may not realise that the marijuana currently used is more powerful than the earlier version, thereby, unaware of the possible effects smoking pot might bring.

The Australian Institute of Criminology states that the cultivation, possession, use and supply of cannabis is illegal throughout Australia as is its importation. Despite this, cannabis is the most widely used illicit drug in the country and is easily available. In a 2004 survey, one in three Australians aged 14 years and above had used cannabis at least once in their life.

People possessing small amount of cannabis in South Australia, the Australian Capital Territory and the northern territory may be issued with an infringement. In Victoria, first time minor offenders are given a warning and referred to drug education, whereas Western Australia employs both methods by allowing the offender with less than 30 grams of cannabis or two cannabis plants grown at home the opportunity of paying a fine or attending an education program.

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