Though we may not realize it, verbal memory is something we access on a daily basis. This is the part of our brain used to recall the words and languages used whenever we converse or write. Well, apparently those types of memories can be put at serious risk after prolonged usage of marijuana.
People often don’t like to admit it, but marijuana addiction is very real and there has been even more evidence uncovered over the past year to prove that. Adding fuel to the fire is new research that was shared by AARP. This focuses on smokers who have been dependent on cannabis for years, showing that they have a tendency to forget simple words and incur legitimate damage to their verbal memory.
The data was collected over a period of 25 years and originally published in the JAMA Internal Medicine Journal. Following constant marijuana users (or addicts) from the age 18 through age 43, the researchers found that cognitive recollection practices suffered tremendously throughout the decades.
Interestingly, the findings measured greater increases over the longer usage periods. It was believed that every 5 years, constant marijuana smokers experience an additional slide in word recollection. A series of tests were administered throughout the participants’ lives, which focused specifically on word association and verbal memory.
Throughout the study, participants were given standard cognitive tests that measured processing speed, word recall and the ability to align those functions together. The verbal memory exercises were where these subjects suffered most, failing to complete simple sentence and synonym tests.
And it is worth noting that the people who participated represented a wide array of the American public. Highly educated subjects failed right alongside lower IQ participants, demonstrating that this went far beyond natural abilities. Sadly, the majority of long term smokers experienced a wave of forgetfulness after 20 plus years of marijuana use, regardless of their background or profession.
One anonymous researcher who helped author the study told AARP that he was genuinely surprised to see results this consistent and this drastic. In his opinion, findings like this greatly merit further investigations.
“I will admit that we were all taken aback to find such a consistent association between long term marijuana use and verbal memory loss,” he told the site. “Because of this, we most certainly plan to invite participants back for a 30-year visit, at which time they’ll undergo continued cognitive testing.”