Marijuana Use Affects Future Generations
The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai released a recent study about the effects of marijuana use by parents, on their children, as they grow into adults.
Professor of psychiatry and neuroscience, and the study’s senior author, Yasmin Hurd, PhD, said
“Our study emphasizes that cannabis [marijuana] affects not just those exposed, but has adverse affects on future generations.”
Cross-generation vulnerability to addictions and compulsive behaviors increase when parents previously used the drug, researchers found. Further research to observe if grandchildren and great-grandchildren are affected is ongoing.
Experimental animal studies have demonstrated a link between casual adolescent usage and later behavioral and neurological abnormalities. The findings showed parental history of THC exposure can affect molecular characteristics, impact offspring, and possibly enhance the risk of psychiatric disorders in subsequent generations.
This important observation about the dangers of pre-parental use should be an active part of the discussion at this time regarding the legalization of medical and recreational use of marijuana. This type of information is crucial for society to form correct guidelines and laws, and in helping develop successful programs for addiction prevention.
“The findings open up potential new treatment interventions to try to reverse cross-generational drug use.”
However as yet, no reliable interventions have been offered.
According to Dr. Dan Siegel of UCLA, young people do not have the brain development to adequately consider the consequences of their actions. And if this epigenetic information is accurate, and young people may be pre-disposed to addiction by a parent’s use of marijuana, we have some real reasons for concern. It is incomprehensible to a teen or young adult that their actions today can change the lives of potential future children or grandchildren. A healthy lifestyle, which includes physical and mental healthful activities, is encouraged for everyone.
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