Cannabis Use Linked To False Memories

Cannabis Use Linked To False Memories

Well, looks like some of those “good times” may not be real after all since a new study suggests that people who are high on cannabis are more likely to form false memories.

Marijuana Influences Memories

According to a new research, people who are under the psychoactive effects of marijuana are more likely to make up false memories or recall memories that are quite different from the one they actually had. Sometimes, these people may even retain information or recall some information from events that never even happened in the first place.

On their own, false memories are not all that unusual or rare in the first place because they can come spontaneously whenever people take some faulty inferences from experiences that they actually had in the past. For example, you might remember that your team was complete last week, even though a couple was out due to sickness. However, it can also be influenced by external factors, such as false media coverage, wrong accounts from other people or even leading questions.

Now, however, a new study suggests that cannabis use increases this risk by an observable amount. This, per the researches, can even be used in making false memories in court.

“The law has recognized that certain witnesses are vulnerable, so you need to take extra care when questioning them. Children and people with mental disabilities are considered as vulnerable witnesses. Maybe cannabis-intoxicated witnesses should join that club,” Elizabeth Loftus, study co-author and a distinguished professor of psychological science and law at the University of California Irvine School of Law, said.

Given that marijuana is slowly being more accepted, it’s only important that its effects on our memory be studied and analyzed.

“Cannabis is the most widely used drug worldwide, after legal substances such as alcohol and nicotine. There is a need to find out how this affects [witnesses’] memory, their reports, so that in turn evidence-based policies can be shaped,” Lilian Kloft, lead author and a graduate student in the Department of Neuropsychology and Psychopharmacology at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, said.

During the last few years, the shift around cannabis has started, further erasing its taboo past.

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