A study conducted by the McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts has found that cannabis might be the key to improving executive functioning in adults. Led by Staci Gruber, PhD, who is the Director of the Marijuana Investigations for Neuroscientific Discovery (MIND) program.
“After three months of medical marijuana treatment, patients actually performed better, in terms of their ability to perform certain cognitive tasks, specifically those mediated by the frontal cortex,” Gruber stated in a McLean Hospital press release.
Early study results were published in the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology earlier this week. Researchers state that this is the first study to investigate how medical cannabis can affect cognitive performances, as they monitored specific individuals before treatment, as well as three, six and 12 months after treatment began. Most patients experienced improvements to their various clinical conditions, as well as with sleep, overall health, and a decreased need for other medications such as opiates.
“We saw a 42 percent reduction in opioid use,” Gruber continued. “This is significant, particularly for those of us in Massachusetts and other areas of the country where the opioid epidemic is ravaging so many. The preliminary finding certainly warrants deeper and broader investigation.”
Researchers will continue to monitor how cannabis affects the patients at McLean Hospital in Massachusetts, with hopes that they will discover more about medical cannabis and the effects it can have on the human brain. “As a clinical researcher, I’m not interested in exploring only the good or the bad, I’m only interested in the truth,” Gruber said. “That’s what our patients and our recreational users have a right to know and a right to expect from us. People are going to use it. It’s up to us to figure out the very best and safest ways in which they can do that.”