Adolescent neurocognitive development and cannabis use

B. Tervo-Clemmens, C. W. Musket, F. J. Calabro, B. Luna

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Cannabis is one of the most widely used psychoactive substances. Initiation of cannabis use is typically during adolescence, a developmental period of marked brain development that supports the maturation of cognitive and affective behaviors. CB1 receptors (the primary binding sites for the psychoactive component in cannabis, Δ9 tetrahydrocannabinol) undergo maturational changes during adolescence and are widely distributed in developmentally sensitive brain regions. To this end, adolescent cannabis use has been associated with several developmental outcomes in cognition and brain structure and function, which could reflect a neurodevelopmental sensitivity to cannabis. However, a growing literature highlights a potential confounding role of sociodemographic, personality, and psychiatric substance use risk factors on behavioral and brain outcomes, limiting the interpretation of direct developmental effects of cannabis on neurocognitive development. Future directions to help untangle predictors and outcomes of cannabis use on adolescent neurocognitive development are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFactors Affecting Neurodevelopment
Subtitle of host publicationGenetics, Neurology, Behavior, and Diet
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9780128179864
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Adolescence
  • Brain
  • Cannabis
  • Development
  • Neuroscience
  • Substance use


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