Cannabis shoppers exhibit greater susceptibility to be able to false memories



A brand new study published in the American journal with the maximum impact factor in world-wide, Molecular Psychiatry, shows that consumers of cannabis are more prone to experiencing memories that are false.

The analysis was conducted by researchers from the Human Neuropsychopharmacology group in the Biomedical Research Institute of Hospital de Sant Pau and from Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, in collaboration with all the Brain Cognition and Plasticity group of the Bellvitge Institute for Biomedical Research (IDIBELL - University of Barcelona). One of the known effects of consuming this drug is the memory issues it can cause. Chronic consumers show more issues than the general public in recovering memories and retaining new information. The new study also reveals that the chronic utilization of cannabis causes distortions in memory, which makes it simpler for fictitious or fictional memories to appear.

On occasions, the brain can remember things which never happened. Our recollection is made up of malleable process that is created increasingly and hence is subject to distortions or even false memories. These memory "mistakes" are seen more often in several neurological and psychiatric disorders, but can also be detected in the healthy population, and become more common as we age. One of the most typical false memories we have are from our childhood which we believe to remember since the people around us have described them to us over and over again of scenarios. Keeping an adequate control over the "veracity" of our recollections is a complicated cognitive task which allows us to have our own awareness of reality as well as shapes our behavior, predicated on previous encounters.

In the study published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, researchers from Sant Pau and Bellvitge compared a group of chronic consumers of cannabis to a healthy control group while they worked on learning a succession of words. After a couple of minutes they were once again shown the original words, together with new words which were either semantically related or unrelated. All participants were asked to identify the words belonging to the initial list. Cannabis consumers believed to have seen the new words that were related that were semantically to a degree that was higher than participants in the control group. By using magnetic resonance imaging, researchers discovered that cannabis consumers revealed a lower activation in areas of the brain related to memory processes and to the general control of cognitive resources.

The analysis found recollection deficiencies regardless of the fact that participants had quit consuming cannabis one month before participating in the analysis. Although they had not have the drug in a month, the more cannabis had been used by the patient throughout their life, crucial PTSD group to storing memories, the lower the amount of action in the hippocampus.

The outcomes show that cannabis consumers are somewhat more vulnerable to suffering memory distortions, even weeks after not consuming the drug. This suggests that cannabis has a protracted effect on the brain mechanisms which enable us to differentiate between imagined and actual events. These memory mistakes can cause difficulties due to the effects the testimonies of witnesses as well as their casualties can have, for instance, in legal cases. However, from a clinical perspective, the results point to the truth that a chronic use of cannabis could worsen issues with age-related memory loss.