The Journal of Molecular Psychiatry published an article that reveals smokers of marijuana are prone to “false memories,” according to a study completed by the Neuropsychopharmacology group located at the Biomedical Research Institute within the Hospital de Sant Pau and from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.
According to the article, chronic cannabis users not only have issues retaining information that they should readily know, but their mind may recall memories that never actually occurred due to less activity in the hippocampus, which controls the storage and retrieval of memories. Although proponents of marijuana disagree with the scientific findings, researchers are concerned with the proof that the research study has found.
A study conducted last year contrasts the recent findings, stating that low levels of marijuana may actually improve memory, according to the Daily Mail. However, the extremely low levels were tested on Alzheimer’s patients, which resulted in a slowdown of the disease. In some cases, the result was a complete halt of symptoms.
However, the newest study tests the impact of chronic cannabis use. During the study, the subject base consisted of chronic marijuana users and individuals who do not partake in marijuana. Each was given a set of words to remember and then asked to recall the words later. Cannabis users were deemed more likely to find relations between the words as a method to recall them, although all words were unrelated.
The authors of the study are concerned that the memory issues may be long term for chronic users.
“The present results indicate that long-term heavy cannabis users are at an increased risk of experiencing memory errors even when abstinent and drug-free.”
There is also a fear that individuals who quit using cannabis may have legal issues in the future due to the memory issues.
“This lingering diminished ability to tell true from false may have medical and legal implications.”
According to Science Daily, the subjects of the study also underwent MRI testing to determine what areas of the brain were affected by marijuana use, leading to the false memories in the marijuana users. The images validated the word memory testing, showing that the hippocampus was directly affected by the use of marijuana. Due to the serious impact on the brain, the effects of chronic marijuana use may be increased as an individual ages and his or her memory begins to deteriorate naturally.
[Photo Courtesy: Truth On Pot]