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Does Cannabis Take a Long-Term Toll on your Memory?!

The answer is NO!

Today most people portray cannabis users as forgetful and absent-minded — it’s more like a widely accepted belief. But what can you say about this? Do you think there’s any truth behind this claim? For the most part, cannabis can affect a person’s memory — there’s no doubt about that.

The thing is, cannabis can impair your short-term memory and your ability to create new memories, but the effect only happens WHILE you are high — and even more pertinent it mostly happens to people who aren’t used to smoking. Meaning, you just haven’t built up a tolerance and this likely won’t keep happening.  Even better news, the effect is temporary. In other words, your memory will be in tip top shape after you sober up, and each time after the effect is usually less and less.

It’s important to note that the impact of the pretty green flower on your memory could also be a result of THC/CBD levels of different strains, genetic factors and how much you use or consume.

In this post, we’re going to take an in-depth look at what science says about cannabis and your memory — we know you’ll learn a thing or two after reading. Let’s get started!

What Is Memory?

Memory is the sum total of what we recall — it gives us the ability to learn and adapt from past experiences and build new relationships. In other words, it’s a mechanism of using past experiences to inform current behavior.

Types of Memory?

When we talk about types of memory, most people relate to long-term and short-term memory — that’s normal. However, it’s important to note that there are three types of memory including sensory, short-term and long-term memory.

Let’s take a brief look at each of them.

Sensory Memory

Sensory memory holds information for a brief period — as little as three seconds. It typically holds information from your five senses, so it can be processed in the brain.

For instance, when you fail to hear what someone said at the start of a discussion, your brain can replay the past few seconds of sound from your sensory memory, so you can remember what was said.

So- Sensory = Super Temporary.

Short-term Memory

This type of memory is also known as working memory — it’s essentially a filter on sensory information. The short-term memory holds just about everything you’re thinking about now or at any moment for about 30 seconds. For the most part, it filters irrelevant information out and keeps the information that you currently need for mental operations.

So- Short-Term = Semi Temporary.

Long Term Memory

Long-term memory has to do with recalling something in a more permanent way. It typically includes memories of past occurrences or events. The thing is, information in short-term memory can be transferred into long-term memory when you pay more attention to it. This simply means that memories fade away when they are not maintained by rehearsal.

So- Long-Term Memory = Maintained Thoughts that stay for Awhile

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way let’s dive into the topic of the day!

What are the Effects of Cannabis on Memory?

For starters, Cannabis contains THC and a host of other (natural) chemicals. When you smoke the herb, the chemicals will get into your bloodstream and travel to the brain. Now, when these chemicals enter the brain, they alter memory function by activating the endocannabinoid system.

The endocannabinoid system typically functions as an aid for eliminating memories — more like bad and negative experiences.

Let’s look at the short and long-term effects of cannabis.

Short-term/Long-Term Effects

The use of cannabis has an instant but temporary effect on your short-term and long-term memory. For the most part, people under the influence of the plant may experience impairments in their short-term memory and an inability to create new long-term memories in that moment in which you are all Stoney.

On the brighter side of things, they do not find it hard to remember existing memories — this simply means that cannabis cannot make you forget what already know.

Whereas people who smoke the pretty green flower on a regular basis may not find it difficult to store or hold information in their minds. These effects tend to become less and less with time and tolerance.

A study in 2005 made a remarkable discovery in regard to impairments associated with long-term use. The research compared the long-term cannabis users who were still smoking the plant to those who had previously been heavy smokers but had abstained from consuming it for three months.

According to the findings of the research, both the former smokers and the current heavy smokers had no cases of memory impairment. That’s great news! ????

Other Factors that Come Into Play

It’s important to note once more that there are other things that play significant roles in how cannabis affects memory. These factors being: different strains, tolerance, genetics, dosages, consumption, and use.


Do you know that the effects of cannabis on memory can be dose-dependent? This simply means that memory impairments are common among those who take larger doses. In other words, people who consume copious amounts of cannabis with a lower tolerance level are more likely to have memory problems than those who use less and have a higher tolerance.


Another thing to note is that cannabis come with varying levels of cannabinoids (THC and CBD). According to several studies, CBD has the potential to protect memory function by decreasing the effects of THC.


Several studies suggest that cannabis is more likely to impact the memory of occasional users than it does to heavy users. So, there’s a good chance for long-term users to develop a tolerance to the effects of THC.


It has also been found that specific genetic factors can predict how a person responds to THC as well as how it affects their memory. This simply means that impact of cannabis on a person’s memory may be linked to genes.

Bottom Line

Yes, cannabis takes effect on your memory if you have low tolerance levels, and you’re smoking vast amounts.  However, the effects are temporary, and the stereotypes are exaggerated!  ???? One of the best parts of this, your favorite bud won’t wipe your memory or make you forget anything you already know! All those things that people (who don’t know what they’re talking about) tell you, aren’t all that true!

What are your thoughts on this? Has cannabis ever taken a major toll on your memory? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!


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