When people use cannabis very regularly for many years it can have a negative impact on the health of their brain. A small structure deep within the brain called the hippocampus (a key brain region for memory, learning and emotional processing) is particularly vulnerable to the effects of long-term heavy cannabis use.
The good news is that the brain changes caused by long-term cannabis use appear to be reversible. The challenge is that it takes a very long time, two years or more of abstinence. Many regular cannabis users struggle to quit for this long, so the BrainPark Behaviour team are working to discover strategies that speed up the process of brain health recovery.
One such strategy may be physical exercise. Regular exercise has a positive effect on physical and mental health and can increase the size of the hippocampus. It’s not yet known how much or what kind of exercise produces the best results. This NHMRC funded research trial is comparing the effects of two different neuroscience-informed exercise programs on brain health, cognitive health, mental health and cannabis use. Importantly this study does not require people to stop using cannabis, which we know can be challenging. We simply ask people to record how much cannabis they have used each week
If you are interested in participating, please click here to find out more and to see if the study is a good fit for you.
This study has been approved by the Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee (MUHREC): Project Number: 12563