King's College London

Research portal

Residual effects of cannabis use in adolescent and adult brains – a meta-analysis of fMRI studies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Early online date10 Mar 2018
Accepted/In press9 Mar 2018
E-pub ahead of print10 Mar 2018


King's Authors


While numerous studies have investigated the residual effects of cannabis use on human brain function, results of these studies have been inconsistent. Using meta-analytic approaches we summarize the effects of prolonged cannabis exposure on human brain function as measured using task-based functional MRI (fMRI) across studies employing a range of cognitive activation tasks comparing regular cannabis users with non-users. Separate meta-analyses were carried out for studies investigating adult and adolescent cannabis users. Systematic literature search identified 20 manuscripts (13 adult and 7 adolescent studies) meeting study inclusion criteria. Adult analyses compared 530 cannabis users to 580 healthy controls while adolescent analyses compared 219 cannabis users to 224 healthy controls. In adult cannabis users brain activation was increased in the superior and posterior transverse temporal and inferior frontal gyri and decreased in the striate area, insula and middle temporal gyrus. In adolescent cannabis users, activation was increased in the inferior parietal gyrus and putamen compared to healthy controls. Functional alteration in these areas may reflect compensatory neuroadaptive changes in cannabis users.

Download statistics

No data available

View graph of relations

© 2020 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454