Until a few years ago, cannabis flower and edibles were the most common cannabis products on the market. The young state-legal sector enjoyed high demand and plenty of sales, but the industry blew up once concentrates hit the shelves. Concentrates have since become immensely popular, with businesses selling $797 million worth in 2020. However, while there has been an increasing number of studies on the effects of low-potency cannabis products, federal law has made it extremely hard for researchers to study high-potency cannabis.
Fortunately, researchers from Washington State University have found a way to study how high-potency cannabis affects memory without running afoul of federal law. The study, which is published in “Scientific Reports,” involved observing 80 participants over the video-conferencing platform Zoom as they consumed cannabis concentrates they had purchased for themselves in Washington state, which legalized adult use cannabis. The researchers then ran cognitive tests and found that, although the THC-loaded cannabis impaired free recall, source memory, and false memory identification, it did not impact the decision-making process.
Thanks to marijuana’s federal classification as a Schedule I controlled substance, this is just the second study on cannabis products with more than 10% THC. Running the study via Zoom, with the participants consuming their own cannabis at home, ensured the researchers did not step into a laboratory on federal property and kept the researchers from interacting with the cannabis.
The participants were split into four groups of 20; two groups used cannabis with more than 20% THC, with one of the groups using high THC cannabis that had CBD; another group vaped cannabis with CBD and 60% THC; and the last group remained sober. None of the cannabis groups were impaired in the decision-making tests, including confidence in knowledge and risk perception. In addition, memory tests found no major difference between the cannabis groups and the sober group. This includes prospective memory, which allows individuals to remember to do things later.
Additionally, the cannabis-using groups performed well on the temporal-order memory test, which tested how well they could remember the sequence of past events. However, the group that smoked high THC cannabis flower with CBD scored lower than the sober group in verbal free-recall trials, a measure of the ability to remember pictures or words they had been shown. The groups that didn’t consume cannabis flower with CBD, as well as the group that vaped concentrates with 60% THC, scored worse on a source-memory measure, which tested how well they could remember how previously learned information had been presented.
On top of that, all three cannabis groups performed poorly on a false-memory test where they were presented with a new word and, when asked if the word had been presented to them before, they tended to say it had not. Curiously, the researchers found that users of the 60% THC concentrates performed similarly to those who used lower-potency cannabis, probably because they were limiting their intake to keep their level of intoxication and impairment low.
As more researchers investigate the different ways in which various marijuana compounds affect people, the research teams are likely to benefit significantly from plant medicine dose-measuring devices such as the one made by RYAH Group Inc. (CSE: RYAH) because it will be possible to quantify how much cannabis study subjects are taking.
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CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.
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