Don’t freak out, but scientists might be trying to say that pot causes mental hallucinations. As in, causing your brain to make-up fake memories; according to a new study. It’s not that far-fetched when you think about it (or not), considering that we do know marijuana can affect people’s memories, especially short-term.
This is basically what deja-vu is, your brain is crafting memories that never happened, failing to match it up with what is presently occurring. A new study has shed light on how marijuana might be tricking the brain.
According to The Independent’s recent article:
The study, published in Molecular Psychiatry, compared a group of 16 regular weed smokers with a control group that had smoked less than 50 times in their lives. They were asked to remember a series of words and the shortly after told to recognize them, with the scientists also adding some words that hadn’t been there the first time around.
Brain scans showed that the regular smokers were more likely to recognize “lure words” — which were similar to the first set of words but weren’t there. The scientists behind the study say that it shows “that abstinent cannabis users have an increased susceptibility to false memories, failing to identify lure stimuli as events that never occurred”.
Scientists even allowed for a month-long elapse between the experiment and the last puff the participants took. This convinces them that pot’s influence is much stronger than we first believed. While this sounds pretty bad for those who might be able to relate to these strange fake-memory episodes, you can also look at this in a different way and think: “wow, cannabis dosage is far from precise or fully-realized yet.”
The study also infers that marijuana is not only affecting the brain through chemical changes, but also physical. Pointing towards affecting the ways that hippocampus, which controls storage and retrieval of our memories, functions.
All of this is very preliminary in-terms of concluding anything, the sample sizes were very small, so don’t let this story go to your head and make you think your brain is being reprogrammed by the ganja. Maybe if they actually found that marijuana could replace memories in the distant future, we could just replace the bad ones with some good ones? I’d sign up for that.