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Does Cannabis Affect Your Memory?


Georgia’s medical marijuana program legalized the possession of low THC Cannabis oil for patients who have applied for the Low THC Registry, though a legislative logjam has delayed the official roll out of the program.

Patients who are looking for natural relief will be able to access Georgia’s cannabis oil, with the goal of treating conditions like cancer, seizures, and HIV/AIDS.

Many patients will be trying medical marijuana for the first time and may wonder about the negative side effects of cannabis and how it might interfere with their daily life.

Memory loss is one reported side effect of cannabis consumption, but the details are a bit foggy as to what kind of impairment happens and to what extent.

In this article, we’ll talk about cannabis consumption and memory loss, how cannabis affects your memory, and discuss the long-term effects of cannabis consumption on your brain.

Cannabis Consumption & Memory Loss


Cannabis May Impact Your Memory in More Ways Than One

Most people consider the short-term effects of cannabis use on memory to be only a minor inconvenience, like losing your glasses while they’re on your head or looking for your phone when it’s in your pocket.

These types of effects on memory are acute, as they occur as a result of cannabis consumption and typically go away once the effects of cannabis have worn off.


Many medical marijuana patients will experience this phenomena with cannabis, and while it’s sometimes annoying, it is essentially harmless.

But research suggests cannabis may impact your memory a little more significantly for people who consume large amounts of cannabis regularly.

How Does Cannabis Affect Your Memory?

There are reportedly two ways that cannabis may impact your memory:

  • Short-Term Memory Loss – After consuming cannabis, patients may experience difficulty remembering some things.

If you’ve ever been extremely high, you’re probably familiar with the difficulty of recalling a certain word, experience, or perhaps even forget what you were saying as you were saying it.

But for cannabis consumers who intake very large amounts of cannabis regularly, it may become difficult to create memories under the influence of cannabis, though limited research is available to determine to what extent this can occur.

It also depends on tolerance and exposure, which is incredibly difficult to measure in randomized trials. Patients with a higher tolerance perceive significantly fewer effects from cannabis and may be impacted by cannabis differently than those who have limited tolerance, regardless of time of use.

Does Cannabis Cause Long-Term Memory Loss?


Cannabis May Impact Long-Term Memory, But How Much is Debated

Using large amounts of cannabis long-term may cause some memory loss, though it’s uncertain how much memory loss and whether memory returns after cannabis use has stopped.

Currently, there is inconclusive evidence suggesting that the long-term impact of cannabis use on memory and cognition is significant.

In one study, nearly 3,500 American adults were studied engaging in memory recall exercises over 25 years. Cannabis consumers who used cannabis every day averaged 8.5/15 words, while non-smokers and infrequent consumers averaged 9/15 words.

The results are measurable in the scientific community, though seemingly insignificant in real life. The study concluded that although past exposure to marijuana did cause measurable results, there weren’t any measurable differences in other types of cognition.

Ultimately, while cannabis can affect your short-term memory, the noticeable effects of long-term exposure to cannabis remain unclear. It appears for now that there are not significant long-term effects as far as research is concerned.


The Effects of Cannabis on Memory May Be Related to Age

Another study conducted with lab mice suggests that cannabis may impact memory differently depending on age.

In the study, a group of mice was given a 28-day treatment of THC, while another group was given no THC. After the 28-day period, both groups were tested on learning and memory.

The mice who had been given the 28-day THC treatment had no THC in their system at the time of testing, because the study was researching the effects of memory impairment after chronic THC exposure, not the effects of THC on memory and cognition.

The older mice who had received the THC treatment performed similarly to the group of younger mice who had received no treatment, and the older mice showed signs of increased connections in parts of the brain that promote plasticity and extended lifespan. Genes related to aging and cognitive impairment were turned down.

In essence, the study suggests that THC may impact brains differently depending on age, with some benefits for memory and cognition for older brains while younger brains see less benefit from THC.

This study was done on mice, and although similar, human brains are incredibly complex, so the results may not translate identically to human case studies.

As of right now, we know that cannabis impacts memory temporarily, and some people may experience long-term memory impairment, while others may not. And though some people may have difficulty with some memories after long-term exposure to large amounts of cannabis, it may not be a significant amount of memory loss.


Get Your Georgia Marijuana Card


Georgia’s low-THC medical marijuana program allows access to cannabis oil with less than 5% THC for patients with qualifying conditions.

We will be processing medical marijuana certifications as soon as the system is live for Georgia patients.

Reserve your appointment today and get $25 off when we start processing applications!

Feel free to give us a call at (866) 781-5606, and we can help answer your questions about getting medical marijuana in Georgia


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Patients have been waiting 7 years for legal access to medical marijuana in Georgia, and a slew of complications at the legislative level have prevented that from happening. Although Georgia’s medical