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Study Finds Cannabis Use Associated With Superior Cognitive Performance In Bipolar Patients


Marijuana BrainBipolar patients with a history of cannabis use demonstrate superior neurocogitive performance compared to patients with no history of use, according to clinical data published online in the journal Psychiatry Research.

Investigators at The Zucker Hillside Hospital in Long Island, NY, along with researchers at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City compared the performance of 50 bipolar subjects with a history of cannabis use versus 150 bipolar patients with no history of use on a battery of standardized cognitive measures. Patient groups did not differ regarding age, racial background, or highest education level achieved. Bipolar patients with a history of cannabis use had similar age at onset as did patients who did not consume cannabis.

Researchers found that subjects with a history of cannabis use exhibited better neurocognitive performance than that of non-users, but they did not differ significantly on estimates of premorbid IQ.

Authors reported, “Results from our analysis suggest that subjects with bipolar disorder and history of (cannabis use) demonstrate significantly better neurocognitive performance, particularly on measures of attention, processing speed, and working memory. These findings are consistent with a previous study that demonstrated that bipolar subjects with history of cannabis use had superior verbal fluency performance as compared to bipolar patients without a history of cannabis use. Similar results have also been found in schizophrenia in several studies.”

They concluded, “These data could be interpreted to suggest that cannabis use may have a beneficial effect on cognitive functioning in patients with severe psychiatric disorders. However, it is also possible that these findings may be due to the requirement for a certain level of cognitive function and related social skills in the acquisition of illicit drugs.”

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org. Full text of the study, “Cognitive and clinical outcomes associated with cannabis use in patients with bipolar I disorder,” will appear in Psychiatry Research.

Source NORML


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  1. Here is the real conspiracy of the weed ban; it actually allows you to think deeper thus increasing your ability to sift through the BS; most great thinkers and contributers to world history were deep thinkers….can’t control a country of free thinkers so keep the weed illegal cause that is the WORST that happens other than munchies……

  2. Thank you Jay; Im in the same boat now….this is totally outdated and bizarre; especially when people continue to destroy lives via booze…..

  3. because they make so much more keeping it “illegal”
    If our country legalized this plant our prison population would be diminished greatly (NORML) Has the data
    Billions spent on prohibition =.”job security”
    LEO,courts,probation, etc.

  4. I have heard some positive things about cannabis treatment for anxiety disorder and OCD as well. I’d like there to be more research in this area, because I’d sure like to know more about it.

  5. if it costs millions then why is the gov. spending billions to keep weed off the streets? jus wandering

  6. By keeping cannabis / schedule 1 , our government has thwarted testing.
    since states have allowed medical cannabis use , more testing has been done in the last 10 years than up till 90’s.
    I am continually amazed with the scientific research on CBD AND THC or cannabinoids .

    Testing cost a lot , millions .Without a motive , financial or political not much testing was done in favor of cannabis.(NIDA) Only funds test to dissaprove cannabis
    Now we have scientifical evidence that “Medical Marijuana” has more than just medical capability”s now its up to congress, and we know where that goes.
    political agendas keep cannabis “illegal” and the science proves the obviuos.

    We didnt need FDA approval to enjoy cannabis but we became criminals the moment we did!

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