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Does Cannabis Make You Less Intelligent?

One of the most common tropes since the dawn of cannabis has been the plant’s effects on intelligence. These tropes often accompany smokey scenes of stoners in wood-panelled station wagons passing a joint and a bag of chips. Other stereotypes include the underperforming hippy student who is barely able to complete a sentence. The list…

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One of the most common tropes since the dawn of cannabis has been the plant’s effects on intelligence. These tropes often accompany smokey scenes of stoners in wood-panelled station wagons passing a joint and a bag of chips. Other stereotypes include the underperforming hippy student who is barely able to complete a sentence. The list goes on.

Related: The Effects of CBD on the Human Body

But how true are these clichés? How does cannabis impact your intelligence?

Now that cannabis has been steadily entering the mainstream culture, researchers have the opportunity to get a deeper look into the plant. And one of the first objectives is to answer the age-old question: Does cannabis make you less intelligent?

 

Measuring intelligence

You don’t need to be a scientist to see the dulling effects of cannabis. Studies abound indicating slower reflexes, a shorter attention span and difficulties with memory. These issues also appear to linger long after the user has sobered up.

The cognitive impairment can last up to three weeks according to a 2011 study. Researchers wrote:

Investigations on the residual effects of cannabis on executive functioning show that recently abstinent cannabis users (7 hours to 20 days) may experience impairment in certain aspects of executive functioning.’

Executive functioning refers to attention span, motor function, memory, decision-making, impulsivity and speaking abilities.

Even after 20 days of abstinence from cannabis, reports indicate that the ability to make choices and assess risk was dramatically impaired, which could be seen as cannabis impairing intelligence. Like most cannabis research conducted before legalisation, however, some of these results are unclear.

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Source: U.S. National Library of Medicine

But, more importantly, one must ask if intelligence is defined solely by a person’s executive functioning. Memory certainly makes up this definition, but motor skills perhaps less so.

Another feature of this question demands clarity on the long- and short-term effects of cannabis. If the effects are only short-term, then the issue is much less concerning. Like alcohol, cannabis may only reduce mental functions temporarily.

A study from New Zealand in 2013 revealed, however, that long-term users are actually the most at risk of cognitive degradation. This study made up a portion of a much larger research trial called the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study, or Dunedin Study for short.

The project has been following 1,038 individuals for more than 45 years to test a variety of theses. It first began by simply monitoring child development and the health of young children between the ages of one to three years old. As ambition grew, and a controlled group had been established, this group of roughly a thousand individuals began participating in other, more nuanced research areas. One such area included the use of cannabis.

This cohort was tested for cannabis use five times at the ages of 18, 21, 26, 32 and 38. At age 13, researchers conducted a neuropsychological test, prior to the start of any cannabis use. The same test was conducted again at the age of 38.

The results paint a negative picture for long-term cannabis users, especially for those who began as adolescents. The study reports:

Persistent cannabis use was associated with neuropsychological decline broadly across domains of functioning, even after controlling for years of education. Informants also reported noticing more cognitive problems for persistent cannabis users. Impairment was concentrated among adolescent-onset cannabis users, with more persistent use associated with greater decline. Further, cessation of cannabis use did not fully restore neuropsychological functioning among adolescent-onset cannabis users. Findings are suggestive of a neurotoxic effect of cannabis on the adolescent brain and highlight the importance of prevention and policy efforts targeting adolescents.’

What’s more, these results were not nearly as negative for users who began smoking cannabis later in life. This would indicate, according to many experts, that cannabis use has a serious impact on the brain’s development.

In the case of cannabis use, there appears to be a direct connection between adolescent use and the formation of the amygdala. This region of the brain is responsible for managing our emotions.

Previous research indicated that the human brain completed the majority of its most critical developments around 18 or 19 years old.

A BBC report indicates that this timeline is actually much longer and that ‘there’s evidence of brain development well into early twenties and that actually the time at which things stop is much later than we first thought.’ Twenty-five is the new estimate, but researchers have said that development could continue into one’s 30s.

To sum this up, researchers have been wading through a variety of research topics. The first asks whether cannabis use has negative cognitive effects over the short-term. Data would suggest that this is indeed the case.

Related: Can Cannabis Really Make You More Creative?

The second, and perhaps more critical question, is that of the long-term effects of cannabis use. Will smoking just one joint as a teenager affect one’s job prospects at 26?

The answers are nuanced, of course. Results would indicate, however, that regular cannabis use as an adolescent does have detrimental long-term effects on brain development. For those who begin smoking later in life, these effects appear trivial.

There is also debate in the scientific community about how one should test this thesis. In the Dunedin study, for instance, there is little concern for the environmental or inherited characteristics of each subject.

 

Introducing the ‘twin design’ study

Twin design studies are popular because they help identify genetic inheritance and the immeasurable nature of family life. For cannabis studies, it has been incredibly helpful.

Researchers begin by conducting the same gamut of tests on twins. Because they share the same DNA and the same family life, any distinctions between the two can be pinned on any external forces. In a joint study between the University of California and the University of Minnesota, researchers used this model to better identify the effects of cannabis use.

To begin the examination, psychologists measured the intelligence of two sets of twins from the age of 9 to 12 years old. They then performed the same test between the ages of 17 and 20 years old. In each set of twins, one of the twins reported cannabis use. And, like the Dunedin study, at the end of the study, researchers identified a decrease in IQ.

But unlike the Dunedin study, the researcher from Minnesota and California identified this decrease ‘in both the users and the abstainers.’ These results show that there are far more factors involved when measuring one’s IQ.

Related: The Dangers of Marijuana Consumption

At the minimum, these factors cannot be placed exclusively on the branches of the cannabis plant. Also, the sample size of this study was very low, which can severely skew results.

From this broad assessment, it’s clear that more research is desperately needed. This is certainly the case in the field of cannabis, but also in research conducted in psychology, neuroscience and child development.

With marijuana and its derivatives becoming more and more common in daily life, learning its effects, especially on those who may be vulnerable to any negative fall out, is key. This will help policymakers implement more precise laws, but it will also protect families and users from the potentially dangerous aspects of cannabis ingestion.

Like anything, moderation and education are key to enjoying life’s vices.

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South Dakota Judge Nullifies Cannabis Legalization Initiative

Despite the people of South Dakota voting in favor of legalizing cannabis, a circuit court judge has struck down the measure.

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Despite the people of South Dakota voting in favor of legalizing cannabis, a circuit court judge has struck down the measure.

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The Dutch Fumble First National Recreational Cannabis Cultivation Tender

The first attempt to federally regulate the cultivation of recreational cannabis in Holland goes down in flames over lack of coordination and faults at the federal level, along with local NIMBYism.

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The first attempt to federally regulate the cultivation of recreational cannabis in Holland goes down in flames over lack of coordination and faults at the federal level, along with local NIMBYism.

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Best CBD Edibles in Europe in 2021

Cannabidiol (CBD) edibles are some of the most popular products in Canada and the U.S. In the U.S alone, the cannabis edibles market reached an estimated worth of $863.1 million in 2020. Related: Best CBD Drinks in Europe in 2021 But things are different in Europe. Despite the growing popularity of CBD, many European consumers haven’t…

The post Best CBD Edibles in Europe in 2021 appeared first on Strain Insider.

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Cannabidiol (CBD) edibles are some of the most popular products in Canada and the U.S. In the U.S alone, the cannabis edibles market reached an estimated worth of $863.1 million in 2020.

Related: Best CBD Drinks in Europe in 2021

But things are different in Europe. Despite the growing popularity of CBD, many European consumers haven’t tried CBD edibles yet. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any good CBD edibles to be found in Europe.

Let’s take a look at the best CBD edibles in Europe in 2021.

 

Top CBD Edibles in Europe in 2021

CBD Gummies by ZenBears

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We start off this list with a product that was Voted as one of the UK’s best CBD gummies by different media outlets. The CBD gummies by ZenBears are THC-free, all-natural and vegan.

The gummies are made in Britain out of organic hemp grown in Oregon, USA. They come in a mix of natural fruit flavours, and each gummy contains 20 mg of CBD. There are 30 gummies per bottle.

Buy CBD Gummies by ZenBears

 

CBD Pillows Licorice by Cibiday

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If you enjoy the sweet taste of liquorice and you want to experience the benefits of CBD, then this is the perfect product for you. The CBD Pillows Licorice by Cibiday are small, artisanal candies that contain 6 mg of CBD.

The liquorice pillows are full of flavour and can be quite chewy if you bite into them. But then again, you can’t really enjoy a liquorice snack if it’s not chewy.

Buy CBD Pillows Licorice by Cibiday

 

CBD Chewing Gum by Two Wise Chimps

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Keep your teeth clean and freshen your breath with CBD Chewing Gum. Chewing this sugar-free CBD gum is probably one of the easiest ways to include CBD into your daily routine, and it’s also a great way to make sure that the CBD you consume is easily absorbed into your bloodstream.

Each piece of gum contains 5 mg of CBD. When you chew on the gum, the CBD is slowly absorbed in the small veins under your tongue.

There are nine pieces of CBD gum per pack. Each pack is biodegradable and plastic-free.

Buy CBD Chewing Gum by Two Wise Chimps

 

Banana + Cinnamon CBD Bar by Nooro

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Help boost your focus while indulging your sweet tooth with Nooro’s Banana + Cinnamon CBD Bar. Enhanced with Maca powder and L-Theanine, two renowned nootropics, this delicious treat is specially designed to get your mind working. And with 25 mg of CBD, it also helps you relax, making it easy to concentrate.

The CBD bar is chewy and full of flavour. You can eat it at breakfast to jumpstart your day or during your lunch break to boost your concentration for the rest of the day.

Buy Banana + Cinnamon CBD Bar by Nooro

 

CBD Double Chocolate Cookie by Naturecan

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Chocolate cookies are delicious, so there can’t be a way to make them better, right? Wrong. Naturecan’s CBD Double Chocolate Cookie makes regular chocolate cookies look bad.

This amazing dark chocolate and crunchy crispies cookie is packed with 25 mg of full-spectrum CBD and protein powder. Perfect as a post-gym snack, this on-the-go CBD edible can help improve your muscle regeneration after an exhausting workout.

Buy CBD Double Chocolate Cookie by Naturecan

 

CBD Manuka Honey by Natura Vitalis

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Combine the beneficial effects of CBD with the healing effects of honey. Make your breakfast the healthiest meal of the day with CBD Manuka Honey.

Honey is one of the oldest health supplements in existence. People have been using it to treat different ailments and conditions for millennia. But now, Natura Vitalis made honey even better by enhancing it with CBD.

The result? A healthy and delicious edible you can spread on toast, add to tea or coffee and more.

Buy CBD Manuka Honey by Natura Vitalis

 

CBD Infused Raw Chocolate by Lovechock

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This is the perfect product for dark chocolate lovers across Europe. Lovechock’s CBD Infused Raw Chocolate has a concentration of 75 percent cocoa, and it’s sweetened with unrefined Arenga palm sugar.

Enhanced with 15 mg of CBD, this product combines the beneficial flavonoids from dark chocolate with those found in cannabis, resulting in a healthy and tasty snack.

Buy CBD Infused Raw Chocolate by Lovechock

 

CBD Hash Brownie by Cannabis Bakehouse

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Hash brownies are some of the most popular cannabis edibles in the world. And you can now enjoy THC-free hash brownies legally in the EU. The CBD Hash Brownie by Cannabis Bakehouse is full of chocolate, fluffy and delicious.

Each hash brownie is infused with 15 mg of CBD, so you can eat one to relax and unwind after a long day at work.

 

Chewing Gum by Nordic Oil

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If you’re looking for a subtle way to consume CBD, then this is the perfect product for you. Nordic Oil’s CBD Chewing Gum is a vegan, gluten-free and sugar-free CBD edible that contains 5 mg of CBD per piece.

The full-spectrum CBD used in the chewing gum is extracted from 100 percent certified European hemp. The gum is refreshing, tasting like spearmint and eucalyptus. Each pack of gum contains 24 pieces.

Buy Chewing Gum by Nordic Oil

 

CBD Lolly Pops by Cannabis Bakehouse

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Reach out to your inner child with a CBD Lolly Pop from Cannabis Bakehouse. Choose between bubblegum, cherry, pineapple, apple, orange and cola flavours and enjoy a discreet way of getting your CBD intake.

Each lolly pop contains 5 mg of CBD. The lollypops are tasty and fun, and they can help relax your mind.

Buy CBD Lolly Pops by Cannabis Bakehouse

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