We’ve all read and heard about the different benefits and drawbacks that smoking cannabis can offer us. It has been used for decades by different people for different purposes. Some use it to just “chill out,” relax, and leave behind a stressful day, some to have fun with friends, other to become (presumably) more creative, and so on.
Today, people talk mostly about the benefits and positive effects of pot. Everyone will tell you how it helps her/him in one way or another. However, often, the desire to experience all these vivid feelings, makes one forget completely about some of the subtly hidden drawbacks.
A lot of regular cannabis users say that, in the long-term, they tend to become more absent-minded than usual. Also, they argue, sometimes they are more prone to forget stuff in their daily lives: not knowing where they last put their wallet in the house, forgetting what they went to the grocery store for, and so on. “Minor issues, but nothing too serious,” as they refer to it.
However, there are some people that experience these adverse effects in a more enhanced way, depending on the frequency of smoking. We probably have all heard the saying that the more you smoke, the more brain cells die in your brain. Is this true? There’s no scientific evidence to back this up.
Nevertheless, daily obsessive consumption (that is smoking more than 1 gram a day) could possibly lead to more absent-mindedness than usual and to more inattentiveness and forgetfulness.
Having all this in mind, does smoking make you dumber in general? Let’s look at the science behind cannabis, first.
What Smoking Does To Your Brain: The Science Behind It
Although I could start with some of the typical effects people usually experience from smoking cannabis, I think that, at this point, it is more important to note what the science says — both in the short and long run.
A study in the journal Brain, has shed some light on the matter: the main caused by smoking marijuana include short-term memory impairment, disruption of the psychomotor behavior, stimulation of appetite, antinociceptive actions (numbs pains) and anti-emetic effects (against vomiting).
The author of the article also argues that there are “signs of mild cognitive impairment in chronic cannabis users,” further stating that such conditions are not irreversible, as there is lack of evidence to support the contrary. Another observation was that smoking pot could enhance certain symptoms related to psychosis.
According to Harvard Health, teenagers who smoke cannabis may experience some ill long-term effects, such as developing schizophrenia and psychosis. The take on the latter one was more or less a guess, but it was not excluded nevertheless.
So, Does Smoking Cannabis Make You Dumber?
There are numerous other studies similar to the above-mentioned ones, regarding the effects of cannabis on your brain, both short- and long-term ones. However, no matter how big the data is so far, most of these scientific papers more or less argue the same things — yes, cannabis affects your brain, but nobody knows how exactly.
Basically, there is evidence to support the claims that there is some kind of alternation while one is being “high,” however, there is no common ground as for the plant’s long-term effects on the body and brain.
I guess it all comes down to personal experience. Every single human brain is different, thus nobody would know how smoking will affect a particular person, without examining her/his brain in advance. Even after doing so, there is a slight chance that the researcher could predict what effect the cannabinoid will have.
Moreover, currently, there are hundreds of different strains of pot, thus meaning that each one will have a different effect on the user. My guess is that it’s highly individualistic.
Once I heard someone say that if you’re already dumb, smoking pot will make you even dumber. I still contemplate on that.
Thank you for reading!
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Also, if you’re interested in the topics mentioned above, you can check two of my previous articles on LSD-assisted therapy and whether being high makes you more creative and productive: