These results suggest that marijuana use leads to altered neural functioning during visuospatial working memory after controlling for other prenatal and current drug use. This alteration appears to be compensated for by the recruitment of blood flow in additional brain regions. It is possible that this compensation may not be sufficient in more real-life situations where this type of processing is required and thus deficits may be observed. Awareness of these neural physiological effects of marijuana in youth is critical.
These results, although only briefly presented, extend previously reported effects of prenatal marijuana exposure on neurophysiological processing during executive functioning. These long term effects highlight the importance of optimizing the prenatal environment. The observed negative long term trans-generational effects are avoidable with knowledge transfer, education and a wider appreciation for the harmful consequences of prenatal marijuana exposure.