Cannabis Use Disorders and Brain Morphology

Valentina Lorenzetti, Janna Cousijn

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Cannabis use disorders (CUDs) affect 13.1. million individuals worldwide and represent the most vulnerable portion of regular cannabis users. Neuroanatomical alterations in the brain may mediate the adverse outcomes of CUDs. We reviewed findings from 16 structural neuroimaging studies of gray matter morphology in CUDs. As of this writing the research shows preliminary evidence for CUD-specific alterations within the striatum, medial temporal lobe, prefrontal cortex, and cerebellum. Age of onset, gender, cumulative cannabis consumption, abstinence, and CUD-associated problems may be important moderators in the association between CUDs and brain morphology. The paucity of neuroimaging studies investigating brain morphology in CUDs, however, prevents strong conclusions being drawn about CUD-specific brain morphology. Studying the commonalities and differences between cannabis users with and without a CUD will be an important next step to understand the neurobiological mechanisms underlying CUDs and to develop new treatment strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFoundations of Understanding, Tobacco, Alcohol, Cannabinoids and Opioids
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9780128003763
ISBN (Print)9780128002131
Publication statusPublished - 23 Mar 2016


  • Addiction
  • Brain morphology
  • Cannabis
  • Cannabis use disorder
  • Gray matter

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