According to a recent study published in the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience by a group of researchers at McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, recent marijuana consumption may hamper with cognitive functions and lead to deficits in memory.
For the study, the researchers carried out interviews with as many as 1,121 individuals falling in the age group 22-36, all of whom had disclosed information about recent marijuana use, undergone a urine test for drug screening and completed a set of neuropsychological tests.
The tests consisted of assessments which checked a participant’s memory, attention span, motor skills and executive function.
The urine samples of roughly 12% of the participants contained tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) pointing to the fact that they had consumed the drug within the past week. These participants got poor grades in the areas of mental processing speed and episodic memory in comparison to those whose screenings showed no evidence of any recent consumption of the drug.
Roughly 43% of the participants had never consumed marijuana, while only 28% had consumed it less than 10 times. Reportedly, 10% of those interviewed were suffering from cannabis use disorder.
The conclusion of the study read: Positive cannabis use disorder status was linked to lower fluid intelligence and a positive urinary THC status was linked with poor performance in processing speed and episodic memory.
“These implications are valid for all types of cannabis, even if it’s medical marijuana,” said lead author of the study, James MacKillop. “Patients would likely have THC chronically circulating in their system which, in turn, may lead to cognitive consequences. This also applies to heavy recreational users.”
In Canada, the ‘potential professional hazards of consuming cannabis’ has been a hotly discussed topic of late. Some companies are now demanding 28 days of abstention from marijuana before showing up for work.