What Are the Cognitive Effects of Long-Term Cannabis Use?


Cognitive Effects of Long-Term Cannabis Use

Research has suggested that individuals who have engaged in long-term cannabis use since childhood may experience a decline in IQ, with an average drop of 5.5 points. Additionally, these individuals might exhibit learning and processing speed deficits when compared to non-users, hinting at a possible causative relationship. The extent of cognitive impairment appears to correlate with the frequency of cannabis use.

Vertigo is a condition that can be particularly disruptive to daily life, and finding effective treatment is crucial for those affected. According to Dr. Fahey, medications like dimenhydrinate (Dramamine) and meclizine (Bonine) are considered among the best treatments for acute episodes of vertigo, especially when related to migraines. However, it is essential to approach the use of these medications carefully, as long-term use may hinder healing.

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is a specific form of vertigo where tiny crystals in the inner ear become dislodged, often by simple movements such as tilting the head backward. This displacement can disrupt the semicircular canals, leading to episodes of dizziness.

With the legality of marijuana use varying by state, it is important to consider the health implications. Marijuana smoke, much like cigarette smoke, contains a plethora of toxins and carcinogens which may contribute to heart disease and cancer. Marijuana also impacts cognitive functions such as memory, executive function, and psychomotor abilities, particularly in the short term.

Regarding the therapeutic aspects, cannabis contains cannabidiol (CBD), which may alleviate anxiety. However, it’s worth noting the distinction between marijuana and hemp products based on their THC content—the primary intoxicating component in cannabis. The law differentiates the two by the THC content, with hemp containing 0.3% or less THC.

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In the realm of neurology, a marijuana-like substance in the brain, 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), has been found to help control seizures but may also exacerbate conditions like Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), which causes dizziness and increased heart rate. Individuals with POTS may require significantly more sodium than the average person.

Furthermore, the cardiovascular risks associated with marijuana use cannot be ignored. Studies suggest that marijuana can increase heart rate and blood pressure, posing a risk, especially for individuals with pre-existing heart conditions. The risk of a heart attack is notably higher shortly after using marijuana.

In light of these findings, further investigation and a cautious approach to the use of cannabis are warranted.

Cognitive effects in midlife of long-term cannabis use
Ohio State Health & Discovery
Coping with recurring vertigo
Marijuana and heart health
The effects of marijuana on your memory
Cannabis and the Brain | Harvard Medical School
Marijuana-like brain substance calms seizures but increases POTS
POTS: Diagnosing and treating this dizzying syndrome
How does marijuana affect the heart?

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