Medical Marijuana Use May Improve Cognitive Performance

Medical Marijuana May Not Impair, and In Many Cases, May Actually Improve Executive Functioning in Adults

From A McLean Hospital Press Release:

“Preliminary evidence from a new study led by McLean Hospital’s Staci Gruber, PhD, director of the Marijuana Investigations for Neuroscientific Discovery (MIND) program, suggests that medical marijuana may not impair, and in many cases, may actually improve executive functioning in adults.

“After three months of medical marijuana treatment, patients actually performed better, in terms of their ability to perform certain cognitive tasks, specifically those mediated by the frontal cortex,” explained Gruber.

“Splendor in the Grass? A Pilot Study Assessing the Impact of Medical Marijuana on Executive Function” was published this week in the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology. This research is believed to be the first to specifically examine the impact of medical marijuana use on cognitive performance and related measures by monitoring a patient’s cognitive performance at baseline (before treatment) and after 3, 6, and 12 months of medical marijuana treatment.”

Frontal Cortex

What Were The Results?

“Study participants also reported improvements in their specific clinical conditions, sleep, and overall health as well as a decreased use of conventional medications, particularly opiates.”

“We saw a 42 percent reduction in opioid use,” reported Gruber. “This is significant, particularly for those of us in Massachusetts and other areas of the country where the opioid epidemic is ravaging so many. This preliminary finding certainly warrants deeper and broader investigation. As a clinical researcher, I’m not interested in exploring only the good or the bad, I’m only interested in the truth,” explained Gruber. “That’s what our patients and our recreational users have a right to know and a right to expect from us. People are going to use it. It’s up to us to figure out the very best and safest ways in which they can do that.”


McLean Hospital is the largest psychiatric affiliate of Harvard Medical School.

More Information

To read the study, Read “Splendor in the Grass? A Pilot Study Assessing the Impact of Medical Marijuana on Executive Function”

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