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Study: Rats Exposed To THC Developed Neural Activity Similar To Schizophrenia

Study: Rats Exposed To THC Developed Neural Activity Similar To Schizophrenia

What happens to our brains when we consume THC?

Researchers at the University of Guelph were determined to find out. They conducted research that was recently published in the Canadian Journal of Addiction in which they used rats to find out what happens with their brain when exposed to THC, according to CBC.

Interestingly, the research showed rats that were exposed to THC once had brain activity like those suffering from schizophrenia and cannabis-induced psychosis.

During the testing, the researchers observed the rats’ brain activity in several regions, such as the orbitofrontal cortex, the prefrontal cortex and the dorsal striatum.

"We found across all the regions the single exposure to THC changed the individual activities of these brain regions, but also altered how these regions communicate, or jive, with one another," Jibran Khokhar, the lead of the research and an assistant professor of neuroscience at the university, told the news agency.

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The “dampened” brain activity of the rats lasted at least one week after THC consumption.

"It was really surprising," he said.

Those genetically predisposed to schizophrenia can raise the risk of suffering a psychotic episode and to be diagnosed with schizophrenia if they consume cannabis, Khokar said. 

The exact causal connection between the two hasn’t been determined yet, according to CBC. 

"The goal and focus of the lab is to try to crack this chicken-or-egg question of substance use and schizophrenia," Khokhar said. 

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Posted-In: CBC THCCannabis Markets Media


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