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Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2010 Aug 16;34(6):871-6. doi: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2010.04.004. Epub 2010 Apr 14.

Interactions between specific parameters of cannabis use and verbal memory.

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Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.


Recently, the impact of different parameters of cannabis use, including the age of first use, the average frequency of use, the cumulative lifetime dose, the average dose per occasion, and the duration of regular use upon cognitive functions has been discussed. However, to date no study has systematically investigated the interactions of these parameters with regard to cognitive performance. To determine whether these interactions exist, 142 healthy young adult cannabis users participated in a neuropsychological assessment study with a German version of the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT). In line with previous studies on cannabis use and verbal memory, significant associations between certain components of verbal memory and frequency of use, cumulative lifetime dose and duration of regular use respectively were found. Remarkably, a multivariate analysis solely revealed a significant main effect of the duration of cannabis use with regard to immediate recall and recall after interference. Moreover, the findings suggest that age of first use, duration of use and frequency of cannabis use interact with regard to their impact on different measures of verbal memory. The findings of the present study provide first evidence that particular parameters of cannabis use interact with regard to their impact on cognitive functions in unintoxicated cannabis users. This finding might deliver more insight into the complex mechanisms underlying the impaired memory functions observed in cannabis users.

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