(HealthDay) -The one who stops smoking the pot can think and learn better afterwards, even if they are just light…
(HealthDay) -The one who stops smoking the pot can think and learn better afterwards, even if they are just light users, a new study report.
Compared to teenagers and young adults who continued to use marijuana, those who rejected for a month showed a “modest but reliable improvement in their ability to learn,” said lead researcher Randi Schuster.
“Most of this improvement happens surprisingly fairly quickly, within the first week of withdrawal,” added Schuster, chief of neuropsychology at the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Addiction Medicine.
The results show that the children must be kept from using the pot, said Schuster. This is a growing worry because leisure marijuana becomes legal in several US states, she added.
“As a country moving towards extensive legalization, we should pay attention to smart child prevention programming,” said Schuster.
The researchers quoted a 201
6 survey that found that almost 14 percent of middle and secondary students had used the pot during the previous month. It also showed daily use doubling between eight and twelve degrees.
Maturation of critical parts of the brain occurs in adolescents, and regular use of the pot during these years can cause more harm than later use, researchers said in background notes.
Advocates for marijuana legalization opposed the new study supporting their claim that the effects of the pot are temporary.
“These findings are consistent with previous studies showing that cannabis exposure is unlikely to be associated with any kind of permanent negative impact on the brain or cognitive performance,” said Paul Armentano, deputy director of NORML.
“These findings contest the long-standing” stoner-dumma “stereotype and should help prevent cannabis acute effects on behavior to continue well after drug intake or that they may pose greater potential risks to the developing brain,” said Armentano.
For his study, Schuster and her colleagues asked two thirds of a group of 88 marijuana users aged 16-25 to drop pot for a month.
The participants in the Boston area were not all heavy users, but used regularly. “We have children who spend at least one day a week or more,” said Schuster.
Urine test revealed that 9 out of 10 participants followed their promise to stop using the pot during study time.
Once a week, the young people participated in computerized brain games that tested their attention and memory, to see if stopping the use of the pot would help improve their brain function.
Computer tests showed memory-specific ability to learn and recall New information – improved only among those who stopped using cannabis. The improvement occurred to a large extent during the first week.
The study showed only a link between ending the pot and better learning ability, not a direct cause-and-effect relationship. Nevertheless, the specialists note the results.
“Cannabis use affects learning and memory, and this study showed improvement of these domains after the end,” said Dr. Scott Krakower, Deputy Unit for Psychiatry at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, NY
“This research can motivate practitioners to encourage their patients to stop using marijuana and maintain abstinence, “said Krakower.
But ending marijuana did not seem to affect participants’ ability to pay attention. Both groups were performed in the same way in that area.
Future studies will test if this memory recovery gives back marijuana quitters to full function by comparing them with teenagers who have never used in the first place.
“What we do not know, that week are they back to the levels of their non-using comrades, or is it a deficit still measurable?” Schuster said.
The study is shown in Oct. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry .
A month of withdrawal from cannabis improves the memory of young adults, young adults
Randi Melissa Schuster et al., A month of cannabis retention among adolescents and adolescents is associated with improved memory, Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (2018). DOI: 10,4088 / JCP.17m11977