Research into the effects of marijuana on memory by experts at Harvard Health indicates that the plant, containing the psychoactive THC, can cause short-term problems with various cognitive functions such as thinking and memory. Yet, it remains unclear how marijuana affects long-term cognitive health and whether it impacts the risk of dementia.
Harvard studies also explore the cognitive effects of long-term cannabis use. While there is evidence of a correlation between heavy cannabis use and cognition, more research is needed to establish a causal relationship, especially regarding the development of dementia in later life.
The increased use of cannabis among older adults is noted, and conditions such as pain, insomnia, and anxiety are cited as common reasons for this trend. However, the potential benefits of cannabis, especially strains high in cannabidiol (CBD), a compound that may help with anxiety, are still being investigated.
Ohio State Insights highlight that the use of cannabinoids may have an effect on the aging brain and could remove plaque-forming proteins associated with Alzheimer’s. However, the implications of such findings are still being debated.
In summary, while there is growing interest and anecdotal evidence suggesting that cannabis might have therapeutic effects on the brain, scientific consensus is still out on whether it can be definitively linked to improved cognitive health or a decreased risk of dementia. Until further robust research is conducted, a degree of skepticism remains prudent.