- Researchers at Université de Montréal have published a sweeping review of studies exploring cannabis use and its effects on cognitive function.
- Their analysis examines six different areas of cognitive function.
- The review finds that cannabis intoxication affects all of these areas, to different degrees, for at least as long as the intoxication lasts.
- Long-term effects of cannabis use are less clear.
The effects of cannabis intoxication on cognitive function have been unclear. Research so far has been largely
A review of studies, or “meta-analysis,” now offers a way to detect patterns in such diverse data. Researchers from the Université de Montréal analyzed a collection of 10 cannabis meta-analyses, with a collective total of 43,761 participants. The aim was to learn what these investigations revealed about cannabis intoxication and cognitive function.
The new review finds overall agreement that cannabis intoxication leads to small-to-moderate cognitive impairment, depending on the type of cognition.
Doctoral candidate Emese Kroon, of the University of Amsterdam’s Social and Behavioural Sciences Programme group, is the lead author of a study titled, “The short-term and long-term effects of cannabis on cognition: Recent advances in the field.”
While she was not involved in the current review, she shared her impressions of it with Medical News Today:
“It is an interesting approach, to systematically evaluate meta-analyses, which makes this study unique in our field.”
“All included meta-analyses focus on part of the broader picture [of] cognitive functioning, and by combining them, you can draw broader conclusions. However, it must be noted that when the literature is inherently limited or methods among studies inconsistent for a certain cognitive domain, you cannot solve these problems by combining meta-analyses about these domains.”
Dr. Alexandre Dumais, the review’s senior author and an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry and addiction, told MNT:
“Our review enabled [us] to highlight that cannabis intoxication leads to small-to-moderate deficits in several cognitive domains, mainly verbal learning and memory, as well as executive function. These acute impairments accord with documented residual effects, suggesting that the detrimental effects of cannabis persist beyond acute intake.”
The review has been published in