As marijuana continues to be a subject of continuous controversy, a new study aims to tip the scale in the negative direction by proving that smoking marijuana connects to memory loss.
The research was published today in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine by Professor Reto Auer from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland and it highlights the effects that habitual marijuana smoking has on the human cognitive functions.
The professor and his team studied data extracted from almost 3,400 Americans in a period of over 25 years. The conclusion was that anyone who smokes marijuana daily for five years or more experiences a short term memory loss and much lower cognitive performance altogether.
For this study, the team of researchers integrated a number of variables such as age, general state of mind and use of various medication and the direct connection still remained.
These investigations were conducted on subjects who had already joined the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study.
In order to test the cognitive performance of all their subjects, the team used both marijuana smoking people and non-smoking people and assigned groups of ten people each. One of the tactics they used was to comprise a list of 15 words, which the groups were then asked to remember.
This test showed that the group of people who smoked marijuana on a constant basis were able to remember less words than the group who didn’t smoke. By and large, the difference was not significant, however the study was able to demonstrate that the more marijuana people use, the more significant the memory loss will be.
As the specialists point out, the reason for this is that THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the chemical that produces the psychological effects in humans, has the capacity to influence the way information is registered in the hippocampus.
One interesting fact is that the other cognitive functions analyzed over the course of this study, such as the ability to make quick decisions and the ability to focus were not greatly affected by the use of cannabis.
The debate over legalizing the consumption of marijuana is still ongoing in many states, with plenty of voices in the public sphere arguing the possible advantages of it also.
Some of the medical benefits that have been directly linked to it range from treating glaucoma, improving lung health, controlling epileptic seizures, stopping cancer from spreading, slowing down Alzheimer’s disease and so on.
Image Source: Time.com