A new study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that cannabis could have an impact on false memories, specifically that cannabis consumers could be more prone to them.
According to Medical News Today, the study was conducted by Lilian Kloft, Ph.D. of the Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. Because cannabis is known to impact memory and even impair verbal memory, learning and attention, the idea was to look at the effect it could have on false memories.
This can be important legally as well as health-wise, as convictions often rely on the testimonies and memories of eyewitnesses. Memories can be false, and if someone is a cannabis user, this may need to be taken into account. Specifically, “malleability” of memory, or the idea that we can create memories of events that didn’t happen, is something that cannabis users are prone to.
“Malleability” of memory refers to the fact that we are able to “create memories of events that did not take place, alter details of past experiences, and even plant completely false memories into someone else’s mind.”
The study looked at 64 healthy volunteers and used virtual reality, among other things, to test the connection between false memories and cannabis use. So far, the results are showing there is definitely a connection between false memories and cannabis.
Currently, there are many studies being conducted on studying cannabis and how it can affect a human’s memory. One study shows that cannabis could help repair the memories of older adults, and another study shows that frequent cannabis consumption could have an impact on driving function. Clearly, a lot is being learned, and there is more work that needs to be done before there are concrete answers.