Daily cannabis users shown to have no difference in brain function to non users

September 01, 2021

With many governments around the world now realising that cannabis can have many medicinal uses, and becoming more accepting to recreational use, it is not surprising that use for both recreational and medicinal purposes has been on the rise for the past 25 years.

It is unsurprising that some people express concern about the side effects of cannabis use when the media have for so long focused primarily on the negative effects of cannabis. Often mentioned are studies that appear to show detrimental effects of cannabis on the brains of people with early onset cannabis use, especially in those who started using cannabis in their teens. However, two recently published studies have shown that continuous use of cannabis could have less of a negative effect on the brain than had been previously thought.

The first study, published in July 2021, was an observational and longitudinal study to assess cognitive function in medicinal cannabis users. Medicinal cannabis users were selected over recreational users because they differ from recreational consumers in motives for use, product selection, and age of onset. Prior to the study, the researchers hypothesised that the patients surveyed would have no reduction in brain function, and may actually show improvement in executive function over the course of the 12 month study.

The participants were given measured doses of both tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) and were evaluated at the 3, 6, and 12 month marks. They had their executive function assessed through learning and memory tests, and also had their mood, anxiety and sleep observed.

The results showed that, relative to baseline, the observed patients displayed a significant improvement on measures of executive function and clinical state over the 12 months, and verbal learning and memory performance appeared to remain stable. The researchers concluded that the results extended previous pilot findings and may indicate that medical cannabis patients could exhibit enhanced rather than impaired executive function over time.

The second study, published on 17th August 2021 was conducted in Rotterdam, Netherlands. It was a diffusion tensor imaging study with the goal of comparing whole-brain white matter microstructure within two control groups. One group consisted of 39 near-daily cannabis users, and the other contained 28 controls, who were roughly matched on age, alcohol and cigarette use. The study found that white matter microstructure did not differ between the group that used cannabis and the control group.

It is important to note that these studies were small in terms of participants, and further research in this area is needed, however, they show promising evidence that the fear cannabis may impair brain function is unfounded.





Also in Education

Owning Guns is a Constitutional Right, Unless You’re a Cannabis User

September 28, 2022

Take two of the most hot-button, tendentious issues of our time – cannabis use and gun rights – combine them, and now we really have a debate. As the law currently stands, medical cannabis patients are not afforded their 2nd amendment right to bear arms. Technically, all cannabis consumers are banned from buying guns, but only medical […]

The post Owning Guns is a Constitutional Right, Unless You’re a Cannabis User appeared first on Cannadelics.

Continue Reading

Cannabis policy changes in Africa are welcome. But small producers are the losers

September 28, 2022

TESTSTSARDSAR

Cannabis policy changes in Africa are welcome. But small producers are the losers by Clemence Rusenga

Cannabis is a drug crop with a long history in Africa. Alongside coca and opium poppy, it has been subjected to international control for nearly a century. The International Opium Convention of 1925 institutionalised the international control system and extended the scope of control to cannabis. In 1961 a new international convention was adopted to […]

A link to your site, with your site's name and description as anchor text.

Continue Reading

University of Sydney to Offer Free Cannabis Testing

September 27, 2022

TESTSTSARDSAR

University of Sydney to Offer Free Cannabis Testing by Johnny Green

The University of Sydney is launching a fairly robust study in an attempt to, as the university describes it, “investigate cannabis consumption, behaviours, and attitudes among users.” Part of the study involves offering free, anonymous cannabis testing for people that cultivate their own cannabis in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). Cannabis was decriminalized in 2020 in the […]

A link to your site, with your site's name and description as anchor text.

Continue Reading