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Study: Medical Cannabis Use Associated With Improved Cognitive Performance, Reduced Use Of Opioids

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director November 14, 2016

    Marijuana researchMedical cannabis administration is associated with improved cognitive performance and lower levels of prescription drug use, according to longitudinal data published online in the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology.

    Investigators from Harvard Medical School, Tufts University, and McLean Hospital evaluated the use of medicinal cannabis on patients’ cognitive performance over a three-month period. Participants in the study were either naïve to cannabis or had abstained from the substance over the previous decade. Baseline evaluations of patients’ cognitive performance were taken prior to their cannabis use and then again following treatment.

    Researchers reported “no significant decrements in performance” following medical marijuana use. Rather, they determined, “[P]atients experienced some improvement on measures of executive functioning, including the Stroop Color Word Test and Trail Making Test, mostly reflected as increased speed in completing tasks without a loss of accuracy.”

    Participants in the study were less likely to experience feelings of depression during treatment, and many significantly reduced their use of prescription drugs. “[D]ata revealed a notable decrease in weekly use across all medication classes, including reductions in use of opiates (-42.88 percent), antidepressants (-17.64 percent), mood stabilizers (-33.33 percent), and benzodiazepines (-38.89 percent),” authors reported – a finding that is consistent with prior studies.

    Patients in the study will continue to be assessed over the course of one-year of treatment to assess whether these preliminary trends persist long-term.

    Full text of the study, “Splendor in the grass? A pilot study assessing the impact of marijuana on executive function,” appears online here.

    29 responses to “Study: Medical Cannabis Use Associated With Improved Cognitive Performance, Reduced Use Of Opioids”

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    2. lockedoutofmyshed says:

      ive been knownin this .ive have consumed cannabis for 32 yrs until 7 yrs,9 months ago when my employer began hair testing. i have noticed what seems to be more of a decline in focus, complete thought patterns,motivation, general happiness with self in these seven plus looooong years. feel like im becoming straight up stupid!

    3. build a bigger base says:

      mj has previously been shown to help heal traumatic brain injuries.

      mj is excellent for PTSD.
      (which is a type of brain ‘injury’)

      MANY famous poets, musicians, and artists used it to enhance their creativity.

      and one colledge physics professor recomended it to his students, to help them understand quantum physics.

      but the haters still say “pot rots your brain”.

      THE HATERS, are the ones with ROTTEN BRAINS.

      THEIR brains are so rotten,
      zombies will not eat them…

    4. Bill Kitsch says:

      I can back this up bigtime with thorough, recent documentation of my own case.

    5. Bill Kitsch says:

      !!! That Opioids are, per CDC guidelines being reduced and taken away from patients IS the case that needs to be brought Right Now! in Pennsylvania, as justification and necessity to accelerate medical marijuana to all traditional Opioid Pain Management candidates of our Commonwealth – you addict us, then take it away, and say we have to wait to 2018? Not! This is the foundational tenets, but the devil is in the detail.

    6. Your article was great. That i have ever found on internet. I have few queries
      about marijuana but now they are solved. Thanks for your great article

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