Cognition in Adults Who Use Medical Marijuana for Chronic Pain Relief

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Dr. Sharon R. Sznitman PhD and
Dr. Galit Weinstein, PhD
School of Public Health,
University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel

PainRelief.com:  What is the background for this study?

Response: Due to increased media attention related to the topic of medical cannabis and increasing public demand for the treatment, physicians often find themselves in situations where patients and caregivers request medical cannabis treatment. When this demand is from older patients, there is a dearth of studies of effectiveness and risk-benefit ratio as almost no studies have examined the potential therapeutic effects and potential risks of the treatment in this specific group. One of the main implications of cannabis use that researchers have grappled with is its long-term effect on cognitive function. It is well established that cannabis use has detrimental effects on the developing brain when consumed in early life, but detrimental effects of early-life cannabis use may not translate to use in older ages. Use of cannabis in old ages may have adverse effects on cognition but some evidence also exists showing beneficial effects.