How Marijuana Can Impact Your Memory: What You Need To Know

How Marijuana CAn Impact Your Memory: What You Need To Know

Outside of the states where cannabis has been decriminalized, you'll find that marijuana holds the number one spot for the most used illicit drug. Every year the percentage of marijuana smokers increases at a rate higher than that of research performed on its effects on memory.

How's the Research Coming Along?

Scientific research is a long way from telling us the exact neurocognitive effects of marijuana use. A study addressing the inconsistencies of marijuana research took into account old studies with new ones. All the information was analyzed to ensure a cohesive response regarding the effects marijuana has on memory.

This study concluded that after 25 days of abstaining from smoking weed, your mind operates at normal levels. Many researchers on the team felt as if there were not enough controlled factors into play. We are far from coming to a unanimous answer to the relationship between marijuana and memory loss.

Keep reading if you're interested in having a frank discussion about the effects marijuana has on memory.

THC & Memory

The THC present is to blame for impairing both your short and long term memory. On the flip side, it is responsible for the euphoric effect that takes hold once you smoke a joint. What we're focusing on is how marijuana makes it difficult for your brain to form new memories. Not whether or not it can make you laugh.

Close to 60 percent of adults believe marijuana is a safer drug to consume than alcohol. This is because drinking too much can lead to blackouts. You won't black out if you go on a smoking binge, making it safer to take recreationally than alcohol.

While you're high, your brain processes reality differently. THC enters your bloodstream to make its way through to your brain eventually. It's in your brain where it activates your endocannabinoid system.

To truly understand how THC affects memory, you need to comprehend the basics of the endocannabinoid system. It plays a key role in maintaining homeostasis in your body.

How Does it Operate?

The system functions with the help of cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids, and metabolic enzymes. The cannabinoid receptors rely on the endocannabinoids for activation signals. Once the endocannabinoids complete their task, the metabolic enzymes come in and break them down.

On the cell surface is where the cannabinoid receptors monitor the surrounding area. It updates the inside of your cell to in regards to changing conditions of the outside environment. Your cell then initiates the necessary response to keep homeostasis.

CB1 and CB2 are the two main cannabinoid receptors that scientists are most familiar with, so there is more evidence to back up claims dealing with these two receptors.

Your brain has an abundance of CB1, which is the receptor that interacts with THC to get you high.

You'll find this receptor in the brain's hippocampus. Your hippocampus handles memory; more specifically, long term memory. Every time you smoke weed, you impair your brain from processing memories for long term storage.

Even in states where marijuana is legal, you cannot drive. There's a good reason for it since your hippocampus, the part most heavily influenced, plays a huge role in spatial awareness. Crashes seem to be up 6 percent in states where recreational marijuana was legalized.

On top of having to worry about completing tasks at a slower pace, you're more likely to get in an accident if you smoke too much weed. If you abstain from smoking for a couple of days, you'll give your body a chance to reset, so you don't develop a tolerance to it.

Should You Be Worried?

The high feeling you get when your smoking is associated with impairing your short term memory. So, while you're high, it's normal to find it difficult to remember particular things. This doesn't become a permanent state of mind.

Those of you who are heavy marijuana users are at greater risk for permanently harming your short-term memory. Smoking marijuana at a daily rate for consecutive years will cause damage to your verbal memory.

You'll notice the difference in verbal ability when you reach your middle ages. Friends of yours who smoked tiny amounts or didn't smoke at all will have high levels of verbal memory. They could talk eloquently. Heavy marijuana users would have a difficult time putting words together when asked to recall a memory about high school.

The brain has trouble imprinting memories while you're high. Making new memories or being asked to recall certain memories becomes a challenge that stresses you out. You then to turn smoking another joint as a solution, while you're feeding a cycle that gets you nowhere.

Keep In Mind...

Studies delineate that heavy smokers develop a tolerance to the drug's effects after enough use. After enough time, your body adjusts to the weed that it works with it to keep you productive. Remembering things while being high becomes an easy feat.

Weed's greatest attribute is that memory loss is temporary. The drug only takes effect for about two hours. Once 24 to 48 hours pass by, you won't feel any setbacks regarding your recollection.

Marijuana won't impact your ability to remember your name or your address, which is common with pills and alcohol. As far as drugs go, marijuana is one of the safest you could expose yourself to.


You're going to have to wait a couple of years before getting a concrete answer regarding the negative and positive impact marijuana has on your memory. If you're a moderate user, you have nothing to worry about. Those on the heavy side should consider taking breaks from time to time to be on the safe side.

Weed nowadays is much more potent than it used to be. Becoming tolerant of such potent weed will damage your hippocampus more than you realize. You can turn to CBD to help improve your memory when you want to cut back on the amount you're smoking.

The earlier you begin to smoke, the more adverse the effects will be. Avoid smoking in your teen years to ensure you don't experience any negative side effects from getting stoned.

Related Articles

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required