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Ask a Stoner: How Does Weed Affect Short-Term Memory?
Westword

Ask a Stoner: How Does Weed Affect Short-Term Memory?

Dear Stoner: I’m getting sick of misplacing my keys, wallet or phone after smoking weed. How badly do blunts hurt my short-term memory?
Rhoddy

Dear Rhoddy: It doesn’t take a Homer Simpson to leave his keys in the doorknob outside all night...just some Lilac Diesel. According to many scholarly studies, this isn’t just some myth or stereotype, either. The three-part pat-down (phone, keys, wallet) is part of any guy’s exit from the house or an Uber ride, but I — and many other potheads I know — have to do this in my own home. And science agrees: Research old and new indicates that marijuana use can affect short-term memories, both in the present and the future, if you smoke a lot of it. The main intoxicating compound in weed, THC, attaches to our brain receptors that are responsible for memory formation, including the hippocampus, amygdala and cerebral cortex. Nobody said it was a perfect plant, except maybe the Internet.

Send questions to marijuana@westword.com.

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