The Popularity And Risks Of Edibles
Edibles, the nickname for food products that contain marijuana or THC, have grown in popularity in the past several years. Many people do not understand that ingesting marijuana through edibles causes a longer delay in feeling high compared to smoking it. Because of this, many people underestimate the amount they are consuming and end up with more THC in their system than they expected. This can cause dangerous and panic-inducing results.
The packaging of edibles can make them a dangerous risk for individuals who do not recognize their identity. Sometimes people mistake a bag of gummy bears, cookies, and other items for what they would find on the shelf at a grocery store. This error in judgment proves especially risky when it comes to children who may accidentally ingest marijuana edibles.
Effect Of Marijuana Use On Iq
The effect Marijuana has on the brain is influenced by the amount a person has smoked and the users age. Individuals under 25, whose brains are still developing, are most susceptible to the effects of Marijuana on the brain. A study of Marijuanas effect on IQ revealed individuals who began using Marijuana at a young age lost 6 to 8 points from their IQ by middle age. Moreover, those who smoked Marijuana throughout their adolescence, then stopped, did not regain their IQ points. Conversely, individuals who began using Marijuana in their adulthood did not experience any IQ loss.
Does Cannabis Use Affect Your Long
The character of the forgetful stoner has been used in comedy for years. The story of the silly stoner forgetting their food in the oven and burning it. Or, forgetting what they were just talking about in the middle of a conversation. Perhaps these examples are exaggerated. But, these things do happen now and then.
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Its also worth noting that the other cognitive abilities researchers tested focus and processing speed did not seem to be significantly impacted by heavy marijuana use.
The association between short-term memory declines potentially permanent ones and heavy pot use is very real, according to this study, and shouldnt be discounted.
On the other hand, its also quite surprising that you can smoke weed literally every single day for five years, and not have it impact your problem-solving abilities or your ability to focus at all.
These findings also need to be understood in relation to what we know about the severe cognitive effects of persistent, heavy alcohol use, which include irreversible brain damage.
Overall, the take-home message is one of moderation.
Whether your preferred vice is pot or alcohol or gambling or Big Macs, it stands to reason that if you overdo it, youre going to hurt yourself.
Does Marijuana Kill Brain Cells
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Frequent Cannabis Use And Memory Recall
While long-term and heavy cannabis users may build up a tolerance to some of cannabis effects on memory function, there are still some concerns that come with long-term usage.
Higher doses of cannabis taken frequently, as is common in heavy long-term cannabis use, has been shown to have a negative effect on a persons short-term verbal memory. One study on cannabis consumption habits, which followed nearly 3,400 Americans over a 25-year period, found that those who had smoked cannabis heavily for five years or more performed worse on tasks that involved verbal recall, even after controlling for other factors that are known to affect cognition, such as age, depression, and other substance use.
On the verbal recall tests, users who reported smoking cannabis every day were able to recall on overage 8.5 of the 15 words used in the test. By comparison, infrequent users and those reporting no cannabis use could recall nine words. While this difference may not appear major, the study authors suggested that this gulf in verbal recall could continue to grow the longer that cannabis was consumed chronically. As only eight percent of the study participants were classed as frequent users, it wasnt possible to confirm this in this one study.
Notably, the frequent cannabis users in this study didnt appear to be significantly impacted by their cannabis use on other measures of their memory and cognition, such as focus and processing speed.
Years Of Marijuana Use Linked To Some Memory Problems Decades Later
Studies already have shown that daily, long-term marijuana use can impair cognitive function, but what about lower levels of marijuana usage?
A new study conducted at UC San Francisco looked at these mid-level pot users and found that this group had worse verbal memory but no deficiencies in other measures of cognitive function.
The findings were published online Feb. 1 in JAMA Internal Medicine.
This observational study does not tease out cause and effect, noted the studys lead author Reto Auer, MD, MAS, who launched this study with his mentors while in the UCSF Training in Clinical Research program. This means that lower verbal memory could be either a cause or a consequence of marijuana use.
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Cbd May Be Memory Protective
Unlike THC, cannabidiol has no impact on cognition. Because of this, it is unlikely that CBD is responsible for any of the adverse effects on memory that are listed. Instead, evidence suggests that cannabis may protect memories by reversing or counteracting the effects of THC on cognition and episodic memory. While studies have suggested that cannabidiol is wake-promoting, and may lead to alertness, more research is needed to identify its full effects on memory.
Teen Marijuana Use Linked To Memory Loss
A recent study published in the journal Hippocampus found that daily use of marijuana may contribute to memory problems among teens as well as brain structure abnormalities, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services even if they ultimately cut back on their use or stop smoking marijuana entirely.
Despite these findings and a pile of anecdotal evidence that supports the notion that regular use of marijuana contributes to poor academic performance and increased risk of drug addiction problems throughout life, a recent poll conducted by the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Childrens Hospital found that 36 percent of American adults believe that medical marijuana should be allowed for children.
While the respondents to the Mott poll may or may not be aware of the effects of regular cannabis use on the developing brain, the hope is that those who create legislation and vote one way or the other will take the time to do their research before making it legal to prescribe to children a substance that has been shown to have a negative impact on cognitive function and their hope for the future.
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Cannabis For Suppressing Negative Memories
While everyone seems to be up in arms about the memory-loss claims, many overlook the positive effects that cannabis may have on memories. Some evidence suggests that cannabis may be useful for repressing or erasing harmful memories, like those found in patients who suffer from PTSD. Evidence suggests that cannabis may be useful for treating anxiety and sleep disorders related to PTSD. Another study suggests that cannabis may even be able to reduce or eliminate the nightmares, which are usually based on stored memories, in people suffering from the conditions.
Can Cannabis Protect Memory
Some studies suggest that higher levels of CBD a non-intoxicating cannabis constituent may offset THCs memory impairment. Better yet, CBD may have therapeutic potential to reverse or prevent certain cognitive impairments.
Early research shows that CBD could protect against brain damage caused by binge drinking or alcohol abuse. The National Institute of Mental Health reported that CBD reduced alcohol-induced cell death in the brain by up to 60 percent.
Other studies have shown that CBD could act as a neuroprotectant and help prevent the onset of diseases like Parkinsons, dementia, or Alzheimers.
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In addition, some studies have shown that early and frequent cannabis use in adolescence predicts poor cognition in adulthood, he added.
While science sorts this out, preventive and interventional measures to educate youths on cannabis use and discourage them from using the substance in a chronic manner should be considered since youths remain particularly susceptible to the effects of cannabis, Dumais said.
Reporting For Elsevier Connect
is Press Officer and Associate Media Relations Manager for Cell Press , based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She began her career at Cell Press as an Senior Editorial Assistant for the journal Cell before transitioning into a role as Marketing/Publicity Coordinator. In December, she moved into her position as Press Officer for Cell Press’s 29 journals. A graduate of the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, she studied literature and art history.
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Final Thoughts On Cannabis And Memory
Were only just beginning to understand how cannabis affects the brain and memory. However, based on the studies that have been done, the adverse effects seem to be slightly exaggerated.
While further research on cannabis and memory impairment is necessary, there is some evidence to suggest that heavy, long-term use may have an impact on ones memory. That said, most short-term effects of weed on the memory are temporary.
Ultimately, its essential to recognize that although there is not likely to be any significant harm to an individuals memory if they experiment with marijuana, existing research seems to suggest that the more frequent the use, the higher the risk.
Weed Affects Your Memory But How
When asking Does weed affect your memory?, one fact applies regardless of if the topic is short-term or long-term memory. THC alters how the brain area responsible for the formation of memories processes information. As people age, they naturally lose neurons in this area of the brain, which is called the hippocampus. It makes it more difficult for people to learn and retain new information. Studies done on rats showed that repeated exposure to THC caused a faster loss of the ability to remember things.
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Can You Black Out From Weed
When people drink a lot of alcohol over a short period of time, they can experience episodes of amnesia known as alcohol blackouts. Following an alcohol-induced blackout, a person may have patchy memories of what happened during a night of heavy drinking. Some people remember nothing at all.
The memory loss associated with marijuana is more subtle. A person who is stoned may have trouble remembering things they learned in school or forget where theyve left things. The person may feel fuzzy-headed and unable to concentrate.
These common symptoms of marijuana use have contributed to the stereotype of the forgetful, hazy and unfocused marijuana user.
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This association remained even after researchers controlled for a variety of other factors known to affect cognitive performance, such as age, education, use of other substances and depression.
Auer and his team measured lifetime marijuana exposure in a new unit of measurement they call marijuana-years. Essentially, if you smoke pot every day for a year, that equals one marijuana-year of use. Ditto if you smoke every other day for two years, or once a week for seven years.
The relationship between marijuana exposure and memory problems was essentially linear. The more pot people smoked, the worse they performed on the memory tests. But just how much worse?
Lets say we have two groups of 10 people each. You tell each of them a list of 15 words and ask them to memorize them. Then 25 minutes later, you ask them to recall all the words to the best of their ability.
The first group consists of 10 people who dont smoke pot or only do so occasionally. Lets say on average, people in this group would be able to remember nine out of the 15 words.
The second group consists of people who smoked pot every single day over a period of five years. On average, theyd be able to recall 8.5 out of the 15 words.
Few people actually smoke this much pot. Among the 3,385 study subjects, only 311 had more than five marijuana-years of exposure.
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Modern Research On Cannabis & Memory
Modern research for this theory is just beginning. This year, the American Psychological Association conducted research on the cognitive effects associated with regular cannabis use. Unfortunately, their findings were nonconclusive.
Despite research advances, it remains unclear if long-term, regular cannabis use harms cognition once intoxication has passed.
American Psycological Association
Even though there has been research indicating long-term use may have negative effects on memory, nothing is for certain. In most cases, a break from cannabis can allow memory function to return to normal. It seems the long-term effects of cannabis use were exaggerated. To better understand how cannabis use affects long-term memory loss, further research needs to be done.
Do you think regular cannabis use can cause long-term memory problems? Or was this theory just a hoax? Let us know in the comments below and follow for more cannabis content!
Important Factors To Consider
There are several other important factors which can affect exactly how cannabis use might impact certain types of memory.
Scientists studying the relationship between genetics and cannabis use have found that a polymorphism in the catechol-O-methyltransferase gene has the ability to moderate the effects of THC on verbal memory. This means that genetic variation could play a part in cannabis-related memory studies and could explain some amount of variation and inconsistency between different studies.
But an individuals history of cannabis consumption may be a more important factor. One 2009 randomized controlled trial reported that when heavy cannabis users and occasional recreational users were given the same single dose of 500 mg/kg THC, the THC significantly impacted the performance of the occasional cannabis users in a number of important neurocognitive tasks. Conversely, the heavy cannabis users were almost completely unaffected by the same cannabis dose, only exhibiting slightly slower reaction times in one motor control task.
The notion that regular users may be able to build up some tolerance to the memory impairments caused by cannabis use could have important implications when considering the effects of long-term regular cannabis use.
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The Debate Over Cannabis Effects
Michele Ross has a PhD in neuroscience and has studied the effects of cannabis on the brain for the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
She told Healthline the study is flawed because of its limitations and that it ignores millions of productive people all over the world who regularly use cannabis.
The studies likely dont look at cannabis consumed in other ways, including cannabis tinctures, cannabis edibles, etc., which dont expose the user to harmful effects of smoke, which cause memory problems themselves, Ross said. They also dont look at smoking cannabis that includes both THC and CBD, which has been shown to reduce any potential temporary harms of smoking high-THC cannabis strains.
Dr. Adam D. Scioli, medical director and head of psychiatry at Caron Treatment Centers, told Healthline the way cannabis is consumed doesnt matter when it comes to its potential damage.
It doesnt matter how you take cannabis because the long-term intoxicating and impairing effects are similar, Scioli said. Factors that could impact impairment include the concentration of THC in the cannabis, quantity, frequency, and duration of exposure.
Genetics, as well as underlying medical and mental health disorders, also contribute to the severity of cognitive impairment in individuals exposed to cannabis, he said.
Scioli said he sees firsthand confirmation of the studys conclusions.
Scioli said theres no easy way to erase the negative effects of cannabis.
Synthetic Marijuanas Effect On The Brain
Synthetic Marijuana, a man-made Hallucinogenic substance typically sprayed onto plant material, is not safe for human consumption but has become popular in recent years. Also known as Fake Weed, it produces mind-altering effects and can cause the individual to act in an odd manner. Synthetic Marijuana is illegal and may have toxic ingredients that can cause increased heart rate, unexplained bleeding, and vomiting.
Similarly to Marijuana, Synthetic Marijuana affects the brain by attaching itself to the Cannabinoid receptor type 1 found in both the central and peripheral nervous systems. Synthetic Weed binds more strongly to CB1 receptors than THC, making it at least 100 times more potent in the brain. Because CB1 receptors have multiple locations in the brain, side effects can be intense and harmful.
Synthetic Marijuana may cause the brain and body to experience:
- Memory loss
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