The Neurocognitive Effect of Cannabis Varies

Adverse Effects of Cannabis Use on Neurocognitive Functioning- A Systematic Review of Meta- Analytic Studies

A recent study has revealed the variability of the effects of cannabis on neurocognitive functioning depending on dose and cannabinoid. A meta-analysis of other meta-analyses led the authors to conclude that cannabis has a negative effect on neurocognitive function. Here is the issue with the gathered data: half of the studies took place when cannabis use was completely illegal in most states meaning that any recorded cannabis use was either conducted in animals models which have proven to be inaccurate when modeling the endocannabinoid system, include limited cannabis use in their control groups despite the authors stating they excluded those studies, and included studies that allow alcohol and nicotine use in combination with cannabis use. The authors claim more controlled longitudinal studies need to be conducted, but still, draw broad conclusions. 

A recent post on this blog has also featured an article funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a known critic of cannabis, and discussed the issue of bias among scientific findings. Biased articles are difficult to get around because they require fully delving into the material listed analyzed in the paper and looking into the studies that were included and left out of the meta-analysis to determine the validity of their findings. It is extremely frustrating to have articles presented to the public that are so heavily biased they cherry pick data just to prove their side of a politically controversial therapy. Not all cannabis use is beneficial and is not well understood, but posting articles like this one prevent the rescheduling of cannabis so that specific chemicals can be harnessed for novel therapies to treat ailments we have no effective treatment for, such as Alzheimer’s, specific cancer types, and a slew of psychiatric disorders. Scientists have a responsibility to remain objective and this type of biased research is disappointing to find.   

The study is available for review or download here

View more studies like this in the CED Foundation Archive 

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Benjamin Caplan, MDThe Neurocognitive Effect of Cannabis Varies