Marijuana and learning

People who use marijuana, especially those who have used it over a long period of time often find that their cognitive abilities are less effective than normal.

They find that their ability to learn new things, focus, multitask or retain information is impaired. This has consequences on many areas of their lives such as work, education etc.

If you use marijuana on a regular basis then you may find that you are unable to concentrate on your work, make more errors than before or have difficulty in remembering things. This is particularly noticeable with your recall system or short term memory.

Your short term memory or ‘working memory’ is the one which you use constantly. Whatever task you are engaged in, you use this to store or recall certain information in order to complete that task.

There are times when you need to make a snap decision or recall a piece of information which is vital for the task, e.g. revision for an exam.

Marijuana affects your ability to do so.

It is harder to recall certain information or takes longer to do so. It is harder to learn new information and to retain this. It is harder to focus upon a single task or switch attention between several tasks.

The reason for this is tetrahydrocannabinols (THC’s). They are the main chemical in marijuana which binds itself to nerve cells in the areas of the brain which are responsible for memory.

They disrupt short term memory by making it harder to learn new information or a task, especially those which involve several stages.

Long term use may affect your chances of achieving your potential at school or work.

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