Cannabis and the Developing Brain

Cannabis and the Developing Brain

1st Edition - September 1, 2022

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  • Editors: Miriam Melis, Olivier Manzoni
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128234907

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Cannabis and the Developing Brain provides comprehensive research on the effects of cannabis during neurodevelopment stages (i.e., perinatal and adolescent ages). The book introduces readers to vivo neural circuits and molecular and cellular mechanisms affected by cannabis exposure during three different temporal windows of brain vulnerability. In addition, it offers unique insights on shared neurobiological features of cannabinoid exposure during different developmental periods. Lastly, the book determines the adverse impact of developmental cannabinoid exposure on specific cognition, emotion and behaviors. Marijuana is the most commonly used psychotropic drug in the United States after alcohol. According to a 2018 NIH report, more than 11.8 million young adults reported marijuana use. With the legalization and decriminalization of cannabis, momentum continues to build and be propelled by the reduction of stigma associated to its consumption, hence there is growing concern regarding long-term impacts on brain function and behavior.

Key Features

  • Reviews exposure effects on different areas and circuits of the brain
  • Identifies the effects of exposure at prenatal, perinatal, infant and adolescent ages
  • Includes cannabis interaction with known genetic and environmental risk factors
  • Contains neurodevelopment and neuropsychiatric disorders associated with cannabis exposure


Researchers and graduate students in neuroscience and psychology studying addiction and cannabis, Policy makers

Table of Contents

  • 1. Effects of prenatal exposure to cannabis (including cannabinoids) on different areas and circuits
    2. Effects of perinatal exposure to cannabis (including cannabinoids) on different areas and circuits of the brain
    3. Effects of the exposure to cannabis (including cannabis-derived drugs) during early infancy (i.e., lactation) and childhood
    4. Effects of the exposure to cannabis (including cannabis-derived drugs) during adolescence
    5. Interaction with known genetic risk factors and individual traits
    6. Interaction with known environmental factors

Product details

  • No. of pages: 400
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2022
  • Published: September 1, 2022
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128234907

About the Editors

Miriam Melis

Dr. Melis, received the degree in Pharmacy at the University of Palermo (Italy) in 1993, and trained in in vivo electrophysiology at the Department of Neuroscience “Bernard B. Brodie” (University of Cagliari, Italy) under the mentorship of GianLuigi Gessa in the lab led by Marco Diana, whose team focused on the understanding of cellular basis of acute and chronic effects of drugs of abuse on reward dopamine neurons. These studies laid the foundations for postulating the state of hypo-dopaminergia following chronic drug use, which subsequently was discovered also in addicted humans. In 2000, she moved to San Francisco to the “Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center” in the laboratory of Antonello Bonci, where she investigated on the effects of a single in vivo exposure to alcohol in the modulation of neuronal excitability and plasticity at synapses impinging upon dopamine neurons in vitro. Upon her return to “Bernard B. Brodie” Department of Neuroscience in 2002, she discovered that dopamine neurons can also synthesize and release endocannabinoids. For this discovery, which showed for the first time that endocannabinoids can fine tune dopamine neuronal activity both in vitro and in vivo, she was recipient of both the “Farmindustria-SIF Award” for Pharmacological Research and the NIDA Travel award for Society for Neuroscience held in San Diego. She earned her PhD in Neuroscience in 2011 with Marco Pistis. During her PhD studies, she investigated with him the functional modulation of endocannabinoid-related molecules on dopamine neuronal activity via a non-genomic mechanism downstream activation of a nuclear receptor transcription factor that is PPARα, by using a combination of electrophysiological, behavioral and biochemical approaches. This work revealed a specific role of the interaction between the cholinergic system and PPARα on dopamine neurons, which relates to diverse disorders associated with unbalanced dopamine-acetylcholine systems. In 2010, she was a recipient of the “Award for Best innovative business idea” at the contest “Talento delle idee” for technological transfer of a nutraceutical product to quit tobacco smoking. In 2016, she was appointed associate professor of pharmacology at the same Department of Biomedical Sciences in Cagliari. Her long term goal is to understand the neurobiological mechanisms (e.g., adaptations of both mesocorticolimbic dopamine pathway and endocannabinoid system) underlying resilience and vulnerability to neuropsychiatric disorders (e.g., substance use disorder, antisocial behavior, anxiety, depression).

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Biomedical Sciences, Universita degli Studi di Cagliari, Oristano, Italy

Olivier Manzoni

Olivier Manzoni is Research Director at the Institut de Neurobiologie de la Mediterranee in Marseille, France.

Affiliations and Expertise

Research Director, Institut de Neurobiologie de la Mediterranee, Marseille, France

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