Study: Medical Cannabis Use Associated With Improved Cognitive Performance, Reduced Use Of Opioids

Photo Credit: NORML

Photo Credit: NORML

Those who oppose marijuana legalization often argue that marijuana will interfere with ones cognitive function, but according to longitudinal data published in the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology, this is not the case. According to the data. medical cannabis administration actually improves cognitive performance in addition to lowering levels of prescription drug use. Investigators from Harvard Medical School, Tufts University, and McLean Hospital looked at how medical marijuana affected patients' cognitive performance over a duration of three months. The patients were either new to medical marijuana or had not used medical marijuana in at least a decade.

Researchers found there were no decrements in performance when they evaluated cognitive performance following the treatment in comparison to the baseline evaluations taken prior to treatment. In fact, researchers determined, "[P]atients experienced some improvement on measures of executive functioning, including the Stroop Color Word Test and Trail Making Test, mostly reflected as increased speed in completing tasks without a loss of accuracy.” Additionally, patients experienced improvements in depression and reduced their use of prescription medications. These assessments will continue over the course of a year.

This information has been provided by NORML and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.