Several studies have advanced the understanding of the effects of cannabis on cognitive function. A comprehensive reappraisal of such literature may help in drawing conclusions about the potential risks associated with cannabis use. In summary, the evidence suggests that earlier age of use, high-frequency and high-potency cannabis use, as well as sustained use over time and use of synthetic cannabinoids, are all correlated with a higher likelihood of developing potentially severe and persistent executive function impairments. While the exact mechanisms underlying the adverse effects of cannabis on cognition are not completely clear, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) studies support the presence of both structural and functional alterations associated with cannabis use. Cognitive dysfunction is also a core feature of many neuropsychiatric disorders and care must be taken regarding the effects of cannabis use in these patient populations. Cognitive impairments affect patients’ daily functions, sociability, and long-term outcome, posing elevated economic, social, and clinical burdens. There is, thus, a compelling case for implementing behavioral and cognitive rehabilitation therapies for these patients, as well as investigating the endocannabinoid system in the development of new psychopharmacological treatments.
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