Study: Adolescent Cannabinoid Exposure Doesn’t Harm, Often Improves Adult Working Memory

A new study published in the journal Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, and published online by the U.S. National Institute of Health, has found that cannabinoid exposure as an adolescent doesn’t harm, and often improves working memory as an adult.

“Marijuana is a prevalent illicit substance used by adolescents, and several studies have indicated that adolescent use can lead to long-term cognitive deficits including problems with attention and memory”, begins the study’s abstract. “However, preclinical animal studies that observe cognitive deficits after cannabinoid exposure during adolescence utilize experimenter administration of doses of cannabinoids that may exceed what an organism would choose to take, suggesting that contingency and dose are critical factors that need to be addressed in translational models of consequences of cannabinoid exposure.”

Researchers “recently developed an adolescent cannabinoid self-administration paradigm in male rats, and found that prior adolescent self-administration of the cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN55,212-2 (WIN) [meant to mimic the effects of cannabinoids] resulted in improved working memory performance in adulthood.”

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