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The formative years of adulthood – between 18 and 25 – is the time when you develop the blueprint for your lifelong personality. Research from the University of Haifa in Israel reveals that the use of cannabis during this period in the life cycle of rats can prevent the long-term, negative effects of early life stress. 

“ …the endocannabinoid system has been suggested as a therapeutic target for the treatment of stress- and anxiety-related disorders. Here we examined whether cannabinoids administered during “late adolescence” (extensive cannabis use in humans at the ages 18-25) could reverse the long-term adverse effects of ES on neurocognitive function in adulthood.”

Read the full study.

Scientists came to this discovery by exposing rats to stress during their post-natal period. Then they were injected with a cannabinoid CB1/2 receptor for a 2-week period – a time corresponding with late adolescence. Later, they were tested for memory and anxiety. It was discovered that the cannabis had prevented any “stress-induced impairments,” and they had lower anxiety levels in comparison to the rats who were not injected with cannabis.

This study serves as a reminder as to how important it is to practice compassion and empathy towards ourselves while we are developing into adults. Consuming cannabis is a viable approach in practicing self-care during this vulnerable time.

This study “Cannabinoids reverse the effects of early stress on neurocognitive performance in adulthood” was published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

Photo by Anna Vander Stel on Unsplash