Unpacking Weed’s Effect On Memory

Have you ever wondered about weed's effect on memory loss? Here's how it affects our memory and how it can help Alzheimer's patients.

Marijuana has a number of positive effects on the brain: it can ease the symptoms of mental illnesses like depression and anxiety. Weed’s effect on our memory, however, isn’t all positive.

Despite the fact that many scientists have researched the effect of cannabis on our memory, there’s so much we don’t know. Part of the reason for this is because the study of memory is complicated. There isn’t a universal understanding of how memory works, and it’s difficult to measure memory because it’s not easy to quantify.

That said, the research out there is fascinating – and it’s something all weed users should take note of! Here’s what we know about weed’s effect on memory loss.

Short-term effects of weed on the memory

We all know that cannabis can slow down the functioning of your brain. This is particularly true if you smoke a significant amount of weed that’s high in THC. But how exactly is weed linked to memory loss?

Unlike with alcohol, you can’t ‘black out’ from smoking marijuana. It’s unlikely that you’ll completely forget what happened for a chunk of time. That said, you’re likely to forget more details when you’re high than when you’re not.

Many studies show that being high compromises your ability to form new memories. When you’re high, your brain can’t tell whether it should store memories or dismiss them – and as a result, you can easily forget information you’d ordinarily remember.  Let’s say you get stoned and read some new information. It’s unlikely that you’ll remember that information later, even after the high wears off. Even if you remember some things, your memory won’t be as sharp as usual.

When you’re high, your spatial memory is also compromised. Ever misplaced your phone and keys while high? That’s probably a result of your spatial memory weakening because of THC. If you’re getting stoned in an unfamiliar building, you might struggle to remember the layout and get lost on the way to the bathroom.

Cannabis won’t affect how you recall information you knew before you were high. In other words, weed won’t make you forget your address, your birthday, or important information you learnt the day before.

Weed’s effect on memory in long-term users

weed-memory-loss-dictionaryIf you smoke weed for a long period of time, it can compromise your verbal memory in the long run. This doesn’t mean that you’ll forget important information you stored years before. Rather, it means that your brain loses the ability to store new information over time.

Lasy year, Switzerland’s University of Lausanne published a fascinating study on cannabis and memory loss. The study, which was done over a period of 25 years, showed that long-term cannabis users will have a poorer verbal memory. The more often you smoke, the poorer your verbal memory will be.

In this study, a group of 3,385 middle-aged participants were verbally told a list of fifteen words. The more the participants smoked weed, the fewer words they remembered. Those who had never smoked weed were able to recall 9 out of 15 words, while those who smoked every day for five years could recall an average of 8.5 words. For every five years they smoked weed, the participants could remember an average of one less word.

The study also examined other cognitive abilities, such as focus and processing speed. According to the study, long-term marijuana use didn’t seem to have a significant effect on these functions.

Weed and memory-related diseases

weed-memory-loss-oldWe can’t discuss weed’s effect on memory without discussing Alzheimer’s disease. While weed can have negative effects on your memory, it might be able to prevent memory-related diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Studies have suggested that weed has neuroprotective properties. This means that weed might prevent diseases where the brain’s function starts to degenerate.

We don’t know the cause of Alzheimer’s disease, but chronic inflammation in the brain might be a contributing factor.  In 2008, researchers at Ohio State University found that a synthetic chemical similar to THC can slow down inflammation in the brain and protect against Alzheimer’s disease. They suggested that a drug including a THC-like chemical can prevent Alzheimer’s. According to the available research, the patient has to take this drug before the symptoms set in.

Just last year, a new study also found that cannabinoids like THC reduces inflammation in the brain. This study also showed that THC stimulates the removal of toxic plaque in the brain. The build-up of this plaque is thought to contribute to the degeneration of the brain.

While more research is needed into this topic, these studies provide a lot of hope for those living with Alzheimer’s.

When it comes to memory, the effects of marijuana are varied. Weed’s effect on memory isn’t clear-cut, and it has both positive and negative aspects. One thing is certain: we need more research on how memory works and how cannabis affects it.

Comments for Unpacking Weed’s Effect On Memory



THC Explained: It’s Benefits and Effects

THC Explained! With medical and adult use marijuana sweeping the nation, one has to beg the question…is THC all its cracked up to be?

The Weed Industry Isn’t As Green As You Think

The burgeoning six-billion-dollar weed industry isn't as green as you think. Here is what growers are doing to make the cannabis industry more eco-friendly.

Does Smoking Weed Affect Your Semen?

There is now scientific evidence that points to the likelihood that smoking weed can adversely affect sperm, although research is ongoing.

Cannabis and Pregnancy

<p>According to the <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/marijuana/factsheets/pregnancy.htm" rel="nofollow"

Cannabis for Autism: Here is How Cannabis Can Help Children

Can cannabis really benefit children with autism? Studies have shown that it can. We have the facts about medical marijuana and autism.

A Quick Guide to Weed-Friendly Hotels

As cannabis tourism grows, we’re starting to see the emergence of weed-friendly hotels. Here's what you need to know about cannabis-friendly hotels.

Top 5 Hotspots for Colorado Cannabis Tourists

We are exploring some Colorado cannabis tourism such as 420 tours. You should definitely read this if you are considering some relaxing 420 tours.

5 Strains to Take With You on Your Last Camping Trip of the Summer

Summer is almost over, but there's still plenty of time to squeeze in one last camping trip before it gets cold. Be sure you're bringing the right strains!

Slang for Weed: The Guide for Marijuana Vocabulary

These terms are surprising, hilarious and unexpected. The guide for marijuana vocabulary are for you who wants to learn more about the ganja language.

Biodynamic Cannabis: Trend or Necessity?

Many patients want their marijuana organic like their food. The closest way to get that is by consuming biodynamic cannabis.

Cannabidiol – The Complete Guide To CBD

<p><strong>Cannabidiol, abbreviated and commonly referred to as CBD, is one of at least 113 other ca

Marijuana Tea? It’s a thing!

As the cannabis industry expands more and more new products hit the market. The latest trend is marijuana tea, cannabis infused tea.

Cannabis Clubs: Now Coming to Colorado

There are all sorts of niched clubs out there, cigar clubs to beach clubs. Now, cannabis clubs are coming to town, specifically to Colorado.

Introduction To Terpenes In Cannabis

What are Terpenes? You hear about it everywhere but do you know what terpenes are? No worries, we got a introduction to terpenes.

How to Get a Medical Card in Oregon

Oregon has one of the leading medical marijuana programs in the country. Here is everything potential patients need to know to get a medical card in Oregon.

Connect with Society Kush

Get some dope in your inbox. Sign up for our Newsletter!