Can medical marijuana affect learning?
Yes, medical marijuana has been linked to a decrease in attention, learning, and processing speed in young people. Structural changes may occur if they continue to use cannabis, even after months of abstinence.
Transcript: "Okay, can medical marijuana affect learning? The short answer is yes. I will get into that more, but I want to start by sort of really making it clear that medical marijuana should not be distinguished from any other kind of marijuana. Marijuana is marijuana and the effects on the brain are the same. In fact, one might argue that medical marijuana is far more potent and therefore have greater effects or long-lasting effects on the brain, especially in young folks, which is where we think about, you know, in adolescence, particularly when people generally start to experiment with marijuana, their brain is developing and so they're really susceptible to the effects of cannabis on the brain. I'll say the first thing that we think about with specifically related to learning is a decrease in attention, learning, and processing speed. This has been related to a decrease in activity of the prefrontal cortex, changes in perfusion of the brain that potentially also have nefarious effects on cognition. It's really scary when young folks begin to experiment with cannabis because although sometimes these effects can resolve with months of abstinence, sometimes they don't and structural changes do occur, so it's pretty scary."