Age Matters Clinic


Toronto Geriatric Assessment and Memory Clinic

Teen Marijuana and Memory Loss

A new study conducted by the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine was published in the journal Hippocampus. The results show that marijuana use during the teenage years might have a greater impact in the long term memory of an individual.

In this research, the participants took long term memory tests. The results show that individuals smoked pot consistently in their teens did not perform well. They were 18% worse on the tests compared to those who did not smoke the drug.

Not only that but these participants showed a major change in their hippocampus. This is the part of the brain that facilitates long term memories.

The research team examined young adults who stopped smoking pot for two years. The results show that the effects of the drug do not disappear immediately.

However, there are limitations to this recent study. The group was only surveyed once. This makes it harder for the researchers to identify if the memory problems were already existent prior to the drug use.

The participants were comprised of ten people who religiously smoked the drug, aging 16 or 17 and compared them to 44 individuals who didn't smoke marijuana. The results of this study though prove to be of relevance as it is linked to other studies about teen marijuana use. There are other researches that have discovered those who smoked the drug had issues with brain growth and loss in IQ points.

The main researcher of the study suggests, "If marijuana is an experience you want to have, you'd probably be better off if you at least wait until your early-20s."