Neuropsychological deficits associated with cannabis use in young adults

This study identified cognitive deficits in cannabis users even in the absence of axis-I disorders and a history of using other illicit drugs

Jon E. Grant

2011

Scholarcy highlights

  • Cannabis is the most widely used illicit substance, and has been associated with poor academic achievement, unemployment, legal problems, and heightened risk of developing a psychotic disorder
  • Future work should use longitudinal designs to track whether these deficits predate cannabis use or are due to its consumption
  • There is broad consensus that cannabis intoxication often results in short-term dysfunction across a range of cognitive domains in healthy volunteers, though not all studies have been consistent in this regard
  • Crosssectional studies reported associations between heavy chronic cannabis use and impaired verbal fluency and word recognition memory; some studies reported that these deficits persisted for just a few days following cessation of cannabis intake, while others suggested that these deficits persisted for a month or longer
  • We hypothesized that cannabis users would exhibit deficits across a range of cognitive domains, consistent with the notion that cannabis use in young people is associated with deleterious effects on cortico-sub-cortical circuitry
  • None of the cannabis users and controls reported past substance use disorder otherwise

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