Memory Loss and Marijuana


Changes in the brain caused by drug abuse have become a far too common occurrence in today’s society. Almost everyone has had some involvement with recreational drug abuse, from weed to the heavier stuff.

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Marijuana especially has been known to have a negative effect on people’s memory. Most susceptible are teenagers and young adults. Fortunately for them, scientists have discovered that the effects of weed on the brain are reversible. Even after just one week after a person stops smoking marijuana their cognitive functions improve.

The exact way weed affects the brain of a young adult is still unclear, mostly because it is considered unethical to ask children to start smoking marijuana. One thing that researchers considered was paying young adults to stop smoking instead.

And this is exactly what a group of scientists decided to do. They recruited 88 people aged from 16 to 25 that reported they consume weed at least once every week. The scientists offered money to 62 of them, with the amount of money participants received depending only on how much time they spent in the program.

In addition to regular drug tests, the participants were also participating in tests that evaluated their attention and memory. The experiment soon showed that past users received a big boost in their cognitive abilities. After just one-week people started putting up much better scores in the tests. The group that continued to smoke did not improve on the tests in any way.

This raises questions about future marijuana abuse by young adults. One of the most important ones is: „Can they fully recover, or is there a point of no return?”. And even though all the information about this is not yet known, scientists warn us to err on the side of caution, as marijuana is becoming more and more available in the U.S. due to law changes.

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