use of cannabis has long been associated with memory loss. But so far this view has been largely anecdotal. As scientists begin to look at cannabis and its effects on human health, they begin to better understand its effects on the human brain – and whether marijuana really weakens memory.
Memory is divided into short-term and long-term memory. Short-term memory stores immediate events temporarily, while long-term memory stores information indefinitely.
Current evidence shows that cannabis intoxication can temporarily alter or disrupt short-term memory processing. This appears to be due to compounds in the cannabis plant that interfere with neuronal signaling when they bind to memory receptors in the brain. Interrupted short-term memory can actually affect learning, as well as cause loss of interest or trouble concentrating.
However, early research also shows that cannabis may have a positive effect on neurodegenerative diseases that affect memory, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and epilepsy. Mainly in animal studies, when scientists used ingredients found in cannabis, they found that it could slow down or even prevent the progression of these diseases – mainly by creating neurons.
The apparently paradoxical effects of the same drug are best explained by two chemicals found in cannabis. Namely delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabinoids (CBD). We all have naturally occurring cannabinoid receptors in our brains. THC is able to bind effectively to these receptors, creating a euphoric effect. However, CBD can interfere with this binding process, which suppresses the feeling of euphoria.
Different ratios of these two chemicals exist in different types of cannabis. Consuming a cannabis product with THC but no CBD increases your risk of developing mental health issues like psychosis. However, CBD can actually be used to treat psychosis.
Cannabis with higher levels of THC and less or negligible amounts of CBD appears to have a detrimental effect on short-term memory, especially in adolescents. The main problem is their ability to retain and recall information. Fortunately, this is not permanent.
However, these recent discoveries regarding the role of THC and CBD in cannabis show that we can no longer simply say that cannabis itself causes psychosis or is harmful to memory. Rather, it may be the type of cannabis and the compounds it contains that may have specific risks or benefits.
And while there is no doubt that some people who use cannabis experience impaired memory, establishing that cannabis is the cause is difficult. One of the reasons is that it’s hard to rule out the effects of other medications people may have been taking – and whether those medications contributed to memory impairment. For example, alcohol abuse can also cause brain damage and memory loss. Another obvious problem when researching this issue is asking people with memory impairment to recall their previous drug use and related problems. Their ability to recall these details may be compromised.
Recent research even suggests that any memory impairment related to cannabis use can be reversed when people stop using cannabis. This effect was mainly seen in people who used cannabis at least once a week.
Just as higher doses of alcohol can potentially cause brain damage, higher doses or more frequent use of cannabis can also cause long-term memory problems – for example, the ability to learn effectively and the ability to concentrate on the task at hand. Some people will use both alcohol and cannabis, often at the same time, which can worsen any potential memory effects.
New research also suggests that cannabis, not alcohol, is responsible for the damage to teenagers’ developing brains. Alcohol is known to destroy or severely damage the brain’s neurons and their signaling functions. But this study found that marijuana actually alters the neuronal brain tissue responsible for memory. are you not sure if this and the last sentence agree with the first sentence? But this change can be undone in a matter of weeks if the person abstains. Although research suggests that fewer young people use both cannabis and alcohol, teens who use cannabis use it twice as often and more often than adults. twice as often and more?
Research shows that young, frequent cannabis users have thinner temporal and frontal cortexes, which are memory enhancing areas. Memory is a key aid to learning and learning – but marijuana not only affects memory, it can also reduce your motivation to learn. This dual influence limits the young person’s commitment to education and his ability to act.
However, use of cannabis later in life (ages 50 and over) appears to have only moderate effects on cognitive functioning, including memory. These modest declines are not fully understood and there is a lack of high-quality research in this area. This will require a change as not only young people are using cannabis. As more and more countries legalize marijuana, older people may also want to try it.
While it likely won’t hurt a person’s memory if they experiment with cannabis, current research seems to agree that the more it is used, the greater the risk. While scientists are still unaware of cannabis use by heart, current evidence suggests that any memory impairment can be reversed if a person refrains from using it.