There have been growing concerns about the protracted effects of cannabis use in adolescents on emotion and cognition outcomes, motivated by evidence of growing cannabis use in adolescents, evidence linking cannabis use to various psychiatric disorders, and the increasingly perceived notion that cannabis is harmless. At the same time, studies suggest that cannabinoids may have therapeutic potential against the impacts of stress on the brain and behavior, and that young people sometimes use cannabinoids to alleviate feelings of depression and anxiety (i.e., “self-medication”). Exposure to early adverse life events may predispose individuals to developing psychopathology in adulthood, leading researchers to study the causality between early life factors and cognitive and emotional outcomes in rodent models and to probe the underlying mechanisms. In this review, we aim to better understand the long-term effects of cannabinoids administered in sensitive developmental periods (mainly adolescence) in rodent models of early life stress. We suggest that the effects of cannabinoids on emotional and cognitive function may vary between different sensitive developmental periods. This could potentially affect decisions regarding the use of cannabinoids in clinical settings during the early stages of development and could raise questions regarding educating the public as to potential risks associated with cannabis use.
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© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
- Early life stress
- Rodent models
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Computer Science Applications
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry