Marijuana is the most commonly consumed drug in the U.S. While it is widely used, it still can cause negative effects with prolonged use. One of the most significant areas of the brain that can be impacted by marijuana use is memory, and short-term memory in particular. It’s important to understand the risks associated with marijuana use and the ways that it can negatively impact someone’s life. If marijuana use is creating difficulty for you or a loved one, it might be time to find help. BoardPrep Recovery is a trusted option for substance abuse treatment in Florida, ready to help you find the solutions you need.
Marijuana and Memory
Marijuana can affect memory, among other perceptions. Furthermore, it can slow the user’s sense of time, as well as create a heightened sense of touch and smell. Marijuana use can impair memory function for a period of several hours to a few days after use, although this can vary based on the amount and potency of the drug consumed. The person’s habit is also a consideration. Marijuana’s effect on memory is due to its active ingredient, THC, which acts on cannabinoid receptors in the brain, disrupting normal brain communication and interfering with the consolidation of new memories. Over time, marijuana use can create difficulty with the recall and storage of memories.
The impact of marijuana on memory can be especially concerning for young people, as the brain is still developing until around age 25. Regular marijuana use in adolescence has been linked to an increased risk of developing long-term memory and learning problems, as well as other cognitive impairments.
Effects of Marijuana Abuse
Marijuana use is common, so it can be hard to know if use has crossed the line to abuse. An addiction can look different from person to person and is less defined by how much of a drug a person consumes and more about how the drug is affecting their lives. A good indicator of drug abuse is if an individual struggles not to use it. Physical, mental, and emotional discomfort can often occur when someone who is struggling with a drug dependency attempts to stop using it.
Chronic marijuana use has been associated with decreased activity in the hippocampus, a brain region essential for memory formation and consolidation. This decrease in activity may lead to impaired memory function in addition to cognitive decline over time.
Memory is not the only function that suffers due to prolonged marijuana use. Other issues that may arise include:
- Difficulty paying attention
- Learning and processing problems
- Increased risk of depression and anxiety
- Respiratory issues
- Negative effects on the overall mood
Much research is necessary to understand the complex effects that marijuana has on the brain, especially on memory. What is clear is that caution should be exercised when using marijuana, particularly for those who are already at a higher risk for developing memory and learning problems.
BoardPrep Recovery Offers Marijuana Addiction Treatment
Marijuana use is now legal many states. However, it’s important to remember that it’s still illegal on a federal level. This has to do with the risk of dependency and potential negative side effects of long-term use. Are you or a loved one trying to stop using marijuana but having difficulty quitting on your own? If so, it might be time to look for help from a treatment center. BoardPrep Recovery offers treatments and programs for a wide range of substance use disorders, including marijuana addiction. Our staff is here to help you find the help that you need to get your life back. Call us today at 866.796.4720 to find out more.