- Cannabis use disorders and brain morphology
- Book title
- Neuropathology of drug addictions and substance misuse. - Vol. 1: Foundations of Understanding, tobacco, alcohol, cannabinoids and opioids
- Pages (from-to)
- London: Elsevier Inc.
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Cannabis use disorders (CUDs) affect 13.1. million individuals worldwide and represent the most vulnerable portion of regular cannabis users. Neuroanatomical alterations in the brain may mediate the adverse outcomes of CUDs. We reviewed findings from 16 structural neuroimaging studies of gray matter morphology in CUDs. As of this writing the research shows preliminary evidence for CUD-specific alterations within the striatum, medial temporal lobe, prefrontal cortex, and cerebellum. Age of onset, gender, cumulative cannabis consumption, abstinence, and CUD-associated problems may be important moderators in the association between CUDs and brain morphology. The paucity of neuroimaging studies investigating brain morphology in CUDs, however, prevents strong conclusions being drawn about CUD-specific brain morphology. Studying the commonalities and differences between cannabis users with and without a CUD will be an important next step to understand the neurobiological mechanisms underlying CUDs and to develop new treatment strategies.