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J Addict Med. 2011 Mar;5(1):9-15. doi: 10.1097/ADM.0b013e31820cdd57.

Effects of chronic, heavy cannabis use on executive functions.

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  • 1Committee on the Neurobiology of Addictive Disorders; The Scripps Research Institute; La Jolla, CA, 92037, USA.


This case describes the clinical course of a cannabis-dependent individual entering a 12-week abstinence-based research program. The case illustrates the effects of chronic, heavy cannabis use on executive functions at three time points: 1) 24 hours of abstinence; 2) 4 weeks of abstinence; and 3) 12 weeks of abstinence. It is followed by discussions by two clinical psychologists and a psychiatrist. The findings described here have important clinical implications, as executive functions have a vital role in treatment participation and in sustaining recovery. It should be of particular interest to clinicians who work with people with cannabis use disorders.


cannabis; cognitive impairment; executive functions; marijuana; neuropsychological assessment

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