Cannabis effects on memory

Posted by in Adverse effects, Doctor X files

 

How negative of an effect does marijuana have for memory? i smoke a small amount everyday, maybe 2-3 hits from a pipe vaporizer. If i wanted to reduce the negative effects it has over memory, is it enough if i considerably cut down on frequency/amount, or does it require a full stop from smoking?

 

The most noticeable neurocognitive effect from cannabis is a subtle alteration of short time memory (memory used, for example, to remember and learn new data). This effect depends on cannabis dosage, frequency and individual characteristics (some people are very susceptible to this even with low doses, other don’t feel it even with high dosages). It is reversible after a few weeks of complete abstinence. There are no other “cognitive declines” associated to cannabis use.

Two high quality studies (meta-analysis) support this idea, so it is not a question of personal opinion, but scientific evidence

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12901774

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22731735

This kind of studies distinguishes between heavy smokers/light smokers/non smokers. They don’t considerate situations like yours. In general, impact on memory is moderate and depending on dosage. 2-3 hits on a vaporizer seems a moderate quantity, expected effect in memory and performance should be very moderated. It is also important consider aspects as potency of cannabis and your occupation (student or person who needs concentration and memory). In this last case it should be important to smoke after (and not before) studying.

 

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