Research Reveals Lower Cognitive Decline Rates in Cannabis Consumers

Research Reveals <span>Lower Cognitive Decline Rates</span> in Cannabis Consumers

A study conducted by the State University of New York (SUNY) researchers suggests an association between cannabis usage and reduced rates of subjective cognitive decline (SCD). The study observed that individuals consuming marijuana, whether for recreational or medical reasons, reported fewer instances of confusion and memory loss than non-consumers.

Published online by Current Alzheimer Research, this study highlighted that recreational use of cannabis significantly impacts cognitive decline.

The study's authors noted, "Non-medical cannabis use was significantly associated with a 96% reduced likelihood of SCD," as reported by Filter.

Individuals utilizing cannabis for medical purposes or both recreational and medical uses also demonstrated "reduced likelihood of SCD," though the statistical significance was not as pronounced.

The study acknowledges previous findings linking heavy cannabis use to diminished cognitive abilities, including verbal recall and overall cognitive function. Yet, the study proposes that cognitive outcomes from cannabis use are influenced by multiple factors, such as consumption frequency, product type, consumption method, and usage intent.

Addressing these variables, the study examined their association with SCD among middle-aged and older adults in the US.

The SUNY Upstate Medical University team analyzed 2021 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data, focusing on individuals 45 years and older from Washington DC and 14 states.

The survey, comprising 4,744 valid SCD responses, inquired about recent experiences of confusion or worsening memory loss.

Memory lapses and confusion survey

Analysis considered cannabis use frequency, reasons for use (medical, non-medical, or both), and consumption methods (smoking, eating, drinking, vaporizing, dabbing, etc.).

Significant findings showed non-medical cannabis use notably reduced SCD odds, suggesting potential benefits, particularly in sleep quality improvement, which is linked to decreased dementia risk.

However, the study revealed inconsistencies, such as higher SCD prevalence among smokers and varied associations between usage frequency, method, and cognitive decline. These results call for further investigation, highlighting the complexity of cannabis's effects on cognitive health.

The researchers acknowledged limitations, including reliance on self-reported data and potential response bias in states where medical cannabis is illegal.

This "in press article" is awaiting final publication revision, which emphasizes the ongoing need for research into the cognitive effects of cannabis.

Publication Date: 07.03.2024