Among the most commonly-reported effects of cannabis ingestion is temporary disruption of short-term memory (i.e., “What were we just talking about?”). But what effect, if any, does medical cannabis have on other cognitive functions?
A tantalizing glimpse comes from a report issued on PubMed.gov in October of this year. It measured executive function of 24 individuals who medicated with cannabis for a 3-month period.
Using results from measurement techniques such as the Stroop Color Word Test (where the written colour name differs from the colour of ink in which it is printed) and the Trail Making Test (which asks the participant to connect a set of 25 dots in a specific order) the researchers found that a significant percentage of subjects exhibited varying degrees of improvement in test speed and accuracy.
A number of patients also reported improvements in sleep and a lessening of symptoms of depression. Encouragingly, the study also continues to substantiate a relationship between use of medical cannabis and a corresponding decrease in the use of conventional pharmaceuticals, with opiate use declining more than 42%.
Once again, we see compelling evidence supporting the need for further research into the efficacy and safety of medical cannabis.