"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Cognitive effects of long-term cannabis use in midlife

As of June 2022, 37 US states have passed medical cannabis laws and 19 states have legalized recreational cannabis. Cannabis has proven to be useful for various conditions similar to Childhood seizure disorder, NauseaVomiting, and lack of appetite in individuals with HIV/AIDS.

Meanwhile, a brand new generation of cannabis products has emerged, driven by marketing that fuels a multibillion-dollar industry. Average content of THC (tetra-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive and potentially addictive chemical in cannabis) in smoked whole plant products has increased From 1% to 4% within the Seventies to fifteen% to 30% of today's cannabis dispensaries. Edibles and vapes may also contain high levels of THC.

Although the general public perception that cannabis is a harmless substance is growing, the long-term advantages and risks of cannabis use are still unclear. However, a consistent pattern of research has emerged: Long-term cannabis use can affect cognition in midlife.

New research on cannabis use and cognition in midlife

Recent research Published in American Journal of Psychiatry Closely followed nearly 1,000 people aged 3 to 45 in New Zealand to grasp the consequences of cannabis use on brain function. The research team found that individuals who used cannabis long-term (several years or longer) and heavily (at the very least weekly, although the bulk of their study used greater than 4 times every week) ) demonstrated deficits in several domains of cognition.

Long-term cannabis users had a mean IQ drop of 5.5 points since childhood, and had slower learning and processing speed than non-cannabis users. The more incessantly a person uses cannabis, the greater the resulting cognitive impairment, suggesting a possible causal link.

The study also found that individuals who knew these long-term cannabis users well noticed that they developed memory and a focus problems. The above findings held up even after the study authors controlled for aspects similar to other drug dependence, childhood socioeconomic status, or baseline childhood intelligence.

The effect of cannabis on cognitive impairment was greater than that of alcohol or tobacco use. Long-term cannabis users also had smaller hippocampi (the realm of ​​the brain liable for learning and memory). Interestingly, individuals who used cannabis lower than once every week with no history of dependence didn't have cannabis-related cognitive deficits. This suggests that there's a limit to which recreational use may not result in long-term cognitive problems.

More studies are needed on cannabis use and mental health.

The latest study is just one in every of several studies showing a link between long-term heavy cannabis use and cognition. Still, future studies are needed to ascertain the causes and explore how long-term cannabis use may affect the chance of developing dementia, as cognitive impairment in middle age is related to higher rates of dementia. is from

What do you have to do when you experience the cognitive effects of cannabis?

Some individuals who use cannabis long-term may develop brain fog, low motivation, difficulty learning, or difficulty concentrating. Symptoms are often reversible, even with the usage of products with high THC content. May increase the risk of developing cognitive symptoms..

If you're experiencing cannabis-related cognitive symptoms, consider the next:

  • Try a slow taper. Gradually reduce the strength (THC content) of cannabis you utilize or how often you utilize it over several weeks, especially if you have got a history of cannabis withdrawal.
  • Work along with your doctor. Be open along with your doctor about your cognitive symptoms, as other medical or psychological aspects could also be at play. Your doctor may also aid you take the cannabis taper safely and possibly more comfortably using other aids. unfortunately, Most patients are not comfortable Talking to your doctor about using cannabis
  • Give it time. It may take as much as a month to experience improvement after reducing your dose, as cannabis can stay within the body for 2 to 4 weeks.
  • Try objective cognitive tracking. Using the app or Objective test For example, a mini mental status test could also be more accurate than self-observation for tracking your mental functioning. Your mental health provider may find a way to assist administer periodic cognitive evaluations.
  • Consider an alternate strategy. Brain function is just not static, just like the color of our eyes or the variety of toes on our feet. Aerobic exercise and fascinating in mindfulness, meditation and psychotherapy can improve long-term cognition.

Cannabis is an interesting but controversial topic that has attracted each hype and skepticism. It is vital for people and health care professionals to emphasise research studies and never speculation or personal anecdotes. Emerging studies that suggest an association between long-term heavy cannabis use and neurocognition ought to be of concern to policymakers, providers, and patients.