According to a paper published in the journal Scientific Reports, marijuana may be able to reverse schizophrenia-like symptoms in teenagers.
Researchers from the University of Western Ontario in Canada used laboratory rats to show the effect.
Senior author Steven Laviolette, who is a professor at the University of Western Ontario’s Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry , and his colleague have said that some studies have suggested that long-term exposure to THC raises the long-term risk of schizophrenia and other psychiatric diseases.
Researchers found that after exposing adolescent rats to THC, it reduced GABA and caused neurons in the animals’ frontal cortex to become hyperactive in adulthood.
The rats also developed schizophrenia-like symptoms such as higher levels of anxiety and lower social motivation.
The researchers found that they could reverse these effects in the brain and in the rats’ behavior with drugs that activate GABA.
What is important about this study is that not only have we identified a specific mechanism in the prefrontal cortex for some of the mental health risks associated with adolescent marijuana use, but we have also identified a mechanism to reverse those risks,” said Laviolette.