Long-Term Cannabis Use Can Impair Learning

Cognitive, physical, and mental health outcomes between long-term cannabis and tobacco users

In Summary

Researchers have recently compared long-term cannabis and tobacco users, finding that cannabis users had more difficulties learning but better health overall than tobacco users. This study compared tobacco and cannabis users after they had abstained from their chosen substance for 15 hours before running through a myriad of texts. Although it took cannabis users longer to acquire and recall novel information cannabis users reported better psychological, somatic, and general health than tobacco users, as well as lowered stress levels, more similar to controls. Tobacco users were also revealed to have more emotional problems than cannabis users and controls. This research may prove beneficial in the creation of programs that utilize cannabis to aid in the cessation of tobacco use. 

This research, while highlighting the advantages of cannabis use over tobacco use, also emphasizes the negative impact of cannabis on individuals in school. Whether those individuals are enrolled in a high school or upper-level academic program, consistent use of cannabis may prove harmful to their overall performance. Patients should always discuss their concerns with their recommending physicians, and should be mindful of the current gaps in medical knowledge concerning cannabis. This information also does not apply to every cannabis-based product, like most topicals. Topicals, unless high-dose tetrahydrocannabinol patches, generally do not cause psychoactive effects and would, therefore, have no affect learning. More research is needed to fully understand which cannabinoids, doses, and frequency of doses, affect learning so that patients are well informed about their medications. 

The study is available for review or download here

View more studies like this in the CED Foundation Archive explore related information, click the keywords below:

Benjamin Caplan, MDLong-Term Cannabis Use Can Impair Learning

Related Posts