A new study, conducted by researchers at the University Of Sidney found limited evidence that impairments to cognitive function persist hours after consuming cannabis.
Although cannabis could impair cognition and safety-sensitive task performance immediately after use, “the question of impairment many hours or days after use has been unclear,” reads the University Of Sydney press release.
’Next Day’ Performance
Researchers extracted data from published studies on the effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) after the first eight hours of using cannabis.
“Most studies didn’t detect ‘next day’ effects of cannabis use, and the few that did have significant limitations,” said Dr. Danielle McCartney, a research fellow with the University of Sydney’s Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics. McCartney led the analysis. “Overall, it appears that there is limited scientific evidence to support the assertion that cannabis use impairs ‘next day’ performance,” she said.
As first reported by Marijuana Moment, a total of 350 performance assessments were administered across the studies reviewed. Just 12 performance tests (3.5 percent) demonstrated a significant hangover effect.
“A small number of lower-quality studies have observed negative (i.e., impairing) ‘next day’ effects of THC on cognitive function and safety-sensitive tasks. However, higher-quality studies, and a large majority of performance tests, have not,” McCartney said.
“We can’t really comment on the magnitude of these effects because they weren’t all that well reported (…) They didn’t appear to be associated with a specific dose of THC, route of THC administration, or type of assessment.”
Advice For Policymakers
The study recommends policymakers bear in mind that the “implementation of very conservative workplace regulations can have serious consequences (e.g., termination of employment with a positive drug test) and impact the quality of life of individuals who are required to abstain from medicinal cannabis use to treat conditions such as insomnia or chronic pain for fear of a positive workplace or roadside drug test.”
“A small number of lower-quality studies have observed negative (i.e., impairing) ‘next day’ effects of THC on cognitive function and safety-sensitive tasks. However, higher-quality studies, and a large majority of performance tests, have not. Overall, it appears that there is limited scientific evidence to support the assertion that cannabis use impairs ‘next day’ performance. However, further research, in particular, studies involving both occasional and medicinal cannabis users and oral THC administration, is strongly recommended,” concluded the researchers.
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