Cannabis has been pointed out for memory loss for so long already. However, this notion has not been proven yet.
As we know, memory is classified into short term and long term. Short-term memory stores immediate events temporarily. On the other hand, long-term memory is where you store information indefinitely.
Cannabis intoxication can alter or distort the process of short-term memory. It may impact learning, loss of interest, and a problem with focusing. It is caused by compounds of Cannabis that disrupt neural signals when attached to receptors responsible for memory in the brain. Good thing its effect is only temporary and will subside eventually when Cannabis is not consumed regularly anymore.
Does Cannabis make you forgetful?
Is Cannabis bad for your brain?
Cannabis contains various amounts of potential therapeutic compounds. One of these is Cannabidiol, or CBD, which can help suppress anxiety. Nonetheless, Cannabis can produce short-term problems with our memory, thinking, and executive function. It is caused by THC, which is a psychoactive compound that triggers receptors in our brain regions that are responsible for our memory. It can also affect our psychomotor function, which requires conscious thought like driving a car and playing musical instruments. The mind-altering effects of smoking Cannabis and edibles are similar. However, edible Cannabis takes longer to take effect than smoked Cannabis. You should expect to feel the effects anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours after ingesting them.
Does Cannabis affect memory?
Cannabis contains a psychoactive cannabinoid called Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), responsible for the high effect when you consume it. This psychoactive ingredient enters your bloodstream and then crosses your blood-brain barrier. The moment it reaches your brain, they stimulate the endocannabinoid system connected with the part of your brain responsible for your memory.
One of our brain receptors is the CB1 receptor that responds to THC in Cannabis. They are located in our brain’s hippocampus, which functions in processing and storing memories.
Cannabis affects your short-term memory that is temporary only. When you consume Cannabis, it influences your short-term memory almost the same way when you drink alcohol. You may experience difficulty remembering things, but that is only momentarily and will not permanently change your memory.
How does Cannabis Causes Memory Loss?
Researchers are still on their way to figuring out how Cannabis causes memory problems. To date, THC has been pointed out to be the potential psychoactive ingredient that can affect memory. Though, most of the evidence is based on animal studies.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse research report about using rodents shows that THC alters the hippocampus. It is the part of the brain responsible for creating memories and processing information.
The deterioration of the hippocampus can cause memory loss, especially during old age. THC emerges to increase the speed of this process. In their study with rodents, the researchers give THC to these animals every single day for eight months. They lost as many brain cells in their hippocampus as rodents twice their age.
What are the short-term effects of Cannabis on your memory?
Your short-term memory is affected when you consume Cannabis. You will experience struggles with remembering things. The good news here is it is not permanent.
Cannabis does not seem to affect your ability to remember memories. Despite being high, you are unlikely to experience forgetting where you live, your date of birth, or where you attend school.
Aside from that, the following are some of the known short-term effects of Cannabis:
- Loss of sense of personal identity
- Problem with body coordination
- Lowered reaction time
- Increase heart rate
What are the long-term effects of Cannabis on your memory?
Long-term effects such as memory, thinking speed, and other cognitive abilities may put your body at risk. Aside from that, the following are known long-term effects of using Cannabis frequently:
- Frequent users exhibit worst in recall, recognition, and other executive functions of the brain.
- They are having difficulty paying attention to more than one stimulus at a time.
- In a test to remember a list of words, long-term users only remember an average of seven words.
- In making decisions, frequent Cannabis users show a 70% impaired performance.
Can Cannabis cause a memory blackout?
As you consume Cannabis, its effect on memory loss is only subtle. It is way better since it does not give the same kind of memory loss when drinking too much alcohol in a short period that typically makes you experience an episode of amnesia.
When you are high from Cannabis, you may experience difficulties remembering things you learned from school. Aside from that, you feel fuzzy, and you cannot concentrate on something.
You have to be wary not to drink alcohol while smoking Cannabis, for it will make you crossfaded. It happens when you become too drunk and too high from weed simultaneously. When this happens, there is a possibility that you will experience amnesia.
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