A Canadian study has found that teen cannabis consumers may face memory, inhibition control and reasoning impairment.
3,826 students from the Greater Montreal area were part of a study looking at the cognitive impacts of cannabis and alcohol consumption on young people. The students were asked to fill out a survey on their use habits every year for four years documenting how often they used a particular substance and how much they consumed at one time.
The students were also asked to complete a series of tests that evaluated their memory, inhibition and reasoning abilities.
What they found was that the cannabis-consuming students experienced negative impacts in each of these categories. And while students who preferred drinking to smoking also saw negative effects, the cannabis consumers saw he greatest impacts.
As University of York Health Sciences professor Ian Hamilton—who was not associated with the study—said, this research further reinforces the potential negative effects of youth cannabis use.
However, he says the really surprising find of this particular study is that the students seemed to suffer long-term effects.
"This is counter to the findings of other recent studies which found there were few long-term cognitive effects of using cannabis," Hamilton told Newsweek.
Past research has suggested that a period of abstinence would be enough to reverse most of the cognitive impacts of cannabis use.
Hamilton says findings like these show how important it is to make sure young people get quality drug education as early as possible.
"It is unrealistic to expect some young people not to try drugs like cannabis, if they can be persuaded to delay the age at which they use that would help them get the most out of their education, which is crucial for future employment and more," he argued.