Surprised? New Study Shows 'All Kinds Of Memory Errors' Can Occur While High On Cannabis
Cannabis consumption raises a person's susceptibility to false memories, according to new research released Monday.
The results are important for law enforcement and legal professionals when working with cannabis-intoxicated witnesses and suspects, the study said.
“Memory performance is imperfect, resulting sometimes in false memories (i.e., memories of nonexperienced events/details) and such false memories can have disastrous consequences in legal cases (e.g., wrongful convictions or false accusations).”
The study said individuals under the influence of cannabis have higher chances to experience “all kinds of memory errors” and are more sensitive to suggestive questions.
This effect vanished one week after, which further suggests that the interrogation of intoxicated individuals should be avoided, the study said.
“Questioning should ideally take place as soon as the person has sobered up to prevent memory decay due to time.”
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One hit doubles the number of false memories in a virtual reality scenario versus those who smoked a placebo, said Johannes Ramaekers, one of the authors of the study and a professor of psychopharmacology at Maastricht University in The Netherlands, according to CNN Health.
This may be due to the cannabis affecting cannabinoid receptors in the hippocampus and cortex, causing effects such as “a loosening of associations, fragmentation of thought, and heightened distractibility.”
Ramaekers also said there is evidence "that chronic use of cannabis can produce persisting decline of cognitive [or] memory function, even after prolonged abstinence and no THC in blood."
Version en Español: ¿La Marihuana Afecta la Memoria? Estudio Holandés Sugiere que Sí
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