Pot Users May Have Better Memories -- And More Colorful Ones, Too!

marijuanaAll those potheads you knew back in your late teens and early 20s might just be getting the last laugh. Or at least they might once the thick fog of marijuana smoke has cleared. A new study has shown that 50-year-olds who said they'd occasionally indulged, over the years, in the evil weed and other common recreational drugs, stopping only as recently as sometime in their 40s, suffered no long-term effects in terms of memory and mental acuity.

In fact – here's the really killer part – middle-aged folks who said they either had used or were still occasionally using recreational drugs (mostly marijuana, but also amphetamines, LSD, hallucinogenic mushrooms, cocaine, and ecstasy) in many cases actually tested better for memory and mental function than those who had not used drugs at all. (The advantage was only marginal, but still ...)


Of course, experts have been quick to point out that there are a host of other serious dangers associated with recreational drugs. Cocaine, for instance, can trigger strokes. 

On the whole, though, sort of surprising, no? Sure, the brain is resilient, but no real lasting cognitive consequences from casual drug use at all?

All I can say is that I knew a lot of people in college who are probably laughing their you-know-whats off about this study right about now. (Or maybe they're laughing about that shimmering, rainbow-colored talking rhino they've spotted in the corner. Who can really tell?) I doubt they were too concerned about long-term effects anyhow, but I imagine they'll be tickled to learn, especially, that they may have an edge on the rest of us in terms of mental acuity.

In fact, I'd sit down and email all those old acquaintances a link to the study, but I'm having a hard time remembering all their names at the moment. This study shows, however, that they'd probably have no problem whatsoever remembering mine.

Are you surprised to learn that casual drug use has no long-term effects on memory or mental function?


Image via warrantedarrest/Flickr

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