Cannabis derails train of thought, but may not affect long-term memory


magnetic resonance imaging, MRI MRT head

Cannabis has complicated effects on memory

MarkusBeck/iStockphoto

The stereotype of a stoner – someone who uses copious amounts of cannabis – is that they are scatterbrained and absent-minded. But how cannabis affects memory is more complicated than this caricature lets on.

For starters, memory is a complex, multi-faceted process. There is long-term memory – the information we retain for months or years – and short-term memory, which lasts only a few minutes. Then there is working memory, which is where we hold information in mind and manipulate it. Working memory allows us to do…

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