A study being conducted by McLean Hospital’s Staci Gruber, PhD and director of the Marijuana Investigations for Neuroscientific Discovery program is aimed at finding the effect of cannabis on cognitive function. According to the preliminary results published in Frontiers in Pharmacology, the participants showed an improvement in executive cognitive functioning after 3 months of regular use.
For the purposes of the study, the medical researchers will examine 24 patients certified for medical cannabis for a period of 1 year and their neurocognition will be tested before the treatment and 3, 6, and 12 months after the treatment. During the evaluation, the patients were given cognitive tests. The ones who received their 3-month evaluation have shown an improvement in speed and accuracy as compared to their baseline results before the treatment.
Also, they had improvements in their specific clinical conditions, sleep, and overall health and there was also reduction in the use of conventional medications, especially opiates, i.e. 42%.
Half of the states in the nation have adopted some degree of cannabis legalization, which makes the findings of this hospital, as well as of other institutions, much more influential.
As the pilot study continues, researchers will explore the good and bad sides of cannabis on adult brain cognition. According to the lead researcher Gruber, their work sets new standards for cannabis research and it opens up a new world of information regarding the effect of exogenous substances on the brain. She adds that people are going to use it and it’s up to the experts to find the best and safest way.