Brain neuroimaging in cannabis use: a review

J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2006 Summer;18(3):318-32. doi: 10.1176/jnp.2006.18.3.318.


In this study, the authors systematically reviewed structural and functional neuroimaging studies of cannabis use. Structural abnormalities generally have not been identified with chronic use. Regular users demonstrate reciprocal changes in brain activity globally and in cerebellar and frontal regions. Abstinence results in decreases, and administration results in increases correlating with subjective intoxication. Chronic use and cannabis administration result in attenuated brain activity in task-activated regions or activation of compensatory regions. Findings correlate partially with neuropsychological data, but generalization is limited by the lack of use of diagnostic criteria, appropriately paired neuropsychological testing or means to better quantify cannabis use and abstinence.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Cerebellum / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebellum / pathology
  • Cerebral Cortex / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebral Cortex / pathology
  • Humans
  • Limbic System / diagnostic imaging
  • Limbic System / pathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Marijuana Smoking / pathology*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon