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  • Long-term Cannabis use and short-term memory

    Cannabis is often seen as a less harmful drug than other substances which can be problematic. Join the discussions on changing cannabis use and working on recovery.
    Leonarda
    Community Builder
    Posts: 151
    Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2020 2:21 pm

    Long-term Cannabis use and short-term memory

    Thu Sep 03, 2020 5:01 pm

    Hello everyone
    We all think at one time or another that we have problems with our memory whether this is in the middle of an exam or test, whether it’s remembering names at a party or forgetting to put the milk back in the fridge. Our memories are important to us and make us the people we are.

    This can get really worrying when forgetting stuff (like a friend’s name or why you walked into the kitchen) happens more frequently. Perhaps you are thinking that your long-term weed use may have something to do with it.. and guess what, you may be right.

    Today’s topic is going to look at the correlation between the two – long-term Cannabis use and the association with short-term memory loss – and what we can do to perhaps use this awareness and change behaviours surrounding long-term weed use. You’re not powerless to protect yourself and by changing some of your habits, this can be a real goal that is going to change aspects of your brain like memory and retention. :)
    Cannabis has been researched extensively and there is plenty of literature out there, weighing up the pros and cons of Cannabis use, however the agreement is there that it affects your memory, both short-term and long-term. Marijuana’s main psychoactive compound is THC and this affects areas in the brain which are crucial in memory formation. The jury is still out on long-term use of marijuana and if the effect on cognition and memory is irreversible. Some longitudinal studies have found that it is also dependent on when a person began using, how much and how long and other drug factors. However we do know that it does impact short-term memory and decreases the ability to learn and retain new information (Filbery et al., 2014; NIDA, 2020).

    Memories are what make us human, whether it’s reflecting on a cherished memory with a loved one or planning the weekend around what you remember you enjoy doing.

    What is your experience like around long-term use of Cannabis and memory? Are you currently struggling with this?
    Have you had this experience with a loved one ?
    What do you think you could do to reduce your intake with Marijuana?


    For more information please visit https://adf.org.au/drug-facts/cannabis/
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    HelpfulBee
    Community Builder
    Posts: 202
    Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:59 pm

    Re: Long-term Cannabis use and short-term memory

    Mon Sep 28, 2020 8:39 pm

    What an interesting read! Thanks for sharing!
    0 x
    Leonarda
    Community Builder
    Posts: 151
    Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2020 2:21 pm

    Re: Long-term Cannabis use and short-term memory

    Sat Feb 20, 2021 2:45 pm

    Thanks for your post @Penardont - cannabis and marijuana are interchangeable and for the sake of brevity, we do use the two terms quite freely in the AOD field. Generally we don't go into specifics re the plant (indica and sativa) but focus more on the effects that addiction has. However aside from the botanical overview, it was good to read your post and your experiences with cannabis use - have you tried to reduce the amount you use? What has worked for you in the past? It would be great to hear people's experiences and share them here :)
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    EdwardPayne
    Junior Member
    Posts: 2
    Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2021 2:31 am

    Re: Long-term Cannabis use and short-term memory

    Sat Oct 22, 2022 12:39 am

    It’s a very interesting read indeed, and it’s relatable for me too. After COVID, I started noticing that my memory is much worse than it used to be. It’s not that I used to remember everything before, no. But now, I cannot remember so many things I used to know before, and I cannot learn new stuff as easily. I can read a book and forget its contents in a few days. It’s terrible, and I don’t know how to help that.
    I take some CBD oil for my anxiety from time to time, but the amount is not that big to influence my memory in any way. Also, I buy it from a trusted online-dispensary.co, so any supplements are excluded. I don’t know what I can do about my memory, and I feel so helpless.
    Last edited by EdwardPayne on Wed Oct 26, 2022 11:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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    Judas
    Member
    Posts: 54
    Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2022 10:47 am

    Re: Long-term Cannabis use and short-term memory

    Mon Oct 24, 2022 10:31 am

    Hi @Leonarda great topic! I think anyone that has used cannabis chronically can attest to the impacts that is has on memory. Something that I've found though is the power of exercise can really help. Exercise has been shown to increase the size of the hippocampus, which is a part of the brain that is important in memory. There is currently a trial that is ongoing that studies how regular exercise can actually help to reverse some of the negative impacts that chronic cannabis use has on the brain and memory and I have heard that is has been showing some really positive results so far. http://brainpark.com/projects/beat

    Something else that I've found really helpful is to keep an organised diary of everything coming up. As soon as I plan something, I write it down so I don't forget it.

    As someone else mentioned, I think a lot of people's brain health has been impacted by covid. As someone that has had it twice, I can say that it definitely affected me for some time afterwards, but I really think I bounced back better than most due to the two tips above.

    In response to your questions:

    What is your experience like around long-term use of Cannabis and memory? Are you currently struggling with this?
    Chronic cannabis use definitely had some impact on my memory. There are some things from the past I feel like I should be able to remember, but I can't. I'm lucky that I didn't start smoking until later in life than most though (I think I was around 21). I wouldn't say I'm currently struggling no. Some of the conversations that I had with people when I used to smoke (whether I was impaired at the time or not) are not really stored in my memory as they should be. Sometimes I ask people things and they say to me; "oh we've talked about this before". That's the main impact that I notice.

    Have you had this experience with a loved one?
    Not really. Sometimes my mother is a bit forgetful but she uses things other than cannabis so I would more put it down to that to be honest.

    What do you think you could do to reduce your intake with Marijuana?
    I don't currently use cannabis.
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