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Cannabis shoppers exhibit higher susceptibility in order to false memories



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

The study was conducted by researchers from the Human Neuropsychopharmacology group at 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 recollection issues it can cause. Persistent consumers show more problems than the general citizenry in regaining recollections and retaining new information. The brand new study also shows that the continual use of cannabis causes distortions in memory, which makes it easier for memories that are bogus or imagined to seem.

On occasions, the brain can recall things that never occurred. Our recollection is made up of malleable process which is created increasingly and thus is subject to distortions or even false memories. These recollection "mistakes" are seen post traumatic stress disorder more often in several neurological and psychiatric illnesses, but can be detected in the healthy people, and become more common as we age. Some of the most frequent false memories we have are from our youth which we believe to recall since the folks around us have explained them to us over and over again of scenarios. Keeping an adequate control over the "veracity" of our memories is a complex cognitive task which allows us to have our own sense of reality as well as shapes our behavior, based on past encounters.

In the study published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, researchers from Sant Pau and Bellvitge compared a group of long-term consumers of cannabis to a healthy control group while they worked on learning a series of words. After several minutes they were more shown the first 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 already seen the semantically new words that were connected to a degree that was higher than participants in the control group. Researchers found that cannabis consumers revealed a lower activation in areas of the brain associated with memory procedures and to the overall control of cognitive resources, by using magnetic resonance imaging.

The study found memory deficiencies despite the fact that participants had quit consuming cannabis one month before participating in the study. Although they had not consumed the drug in a month, the more cannabis had been used by the patient throughout their life, vital to storing memories, the lower the degree of action in the hippocampus.

The outcomes demonstrate that cannabis consumers are more vulnerable to enduring memory distortions weeks after not consuming the drug. This implies that cannabis has a protracted effect on the brain mechanisms which allow us to discern between actual and imaginary events. These memory errors can cause difficulties in legal cases, for instance, because of the effects the testimonies of witnesses and their casualties can have. Nevertheless, from a clinical viewpoint, the results point to the truth that a long-term use of cannabis could worsen issues with age-associated memory loss.