To look at the relationship between cannabis and memory, it’s important to look at its effects on various aspects of memory, including the type of memory, the short-term and long-term influence, and the factors of dosing marijuana, like the cannabinoid composition of the strain, the dosing amount, and the frequency of cannabis use. In this post, we will discuss the effects of cannabis on short-term and long-term memory.
When it comes to short-term effects of cannabis on memory, it seems that the cannabinoids makes it more difficult to form new memories while under the influence and to recall memories while under the influence or shortly after. That said, frequent users may develop a tolerance to these effects, and these effects seem to be temporary. One study found the impairment lasted for two hours after consumption, and no residual effects lasted after 24-48 hours. In regards to long-term memory, frequent and high doses of cannabis may produce adverse effects. A study from JAMA Internal Medicine found people who regularly consumed a lot of cannabis for more than 5 years developed worse verbal recall than people who consumed less or none at all, but not by much. Lead author of the study and professor at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland, Reto Auer, said 3,400 Americans over the course of a 25-year period were involved in the study. When they looked at verbal recall, users who smoked every day could recall 8.5 out of every 15 words, on average, while those who smoked less or didn’t smoke at all recalled 9 out of 15 words.
This information has been provided by Leafly and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. Stay tuned for the following post, in which we will discuss how marijuana may actually be beneficial in other aspects of memory and in relation to specific conditions.