Marijuana abstinence in adolescents and young adults improves brain functioning
October 31, 2018  | 

One Month of Abstinence from Marijuana Improves Memory in Adolescents & Young adults

Researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital have published exciting new research, finding that adolescents and young adults with regular marijuana use experienced measurable improvements in cognitive functions after just 30 days of abstinence.

cannabis abstinence in adolescents improves memory

Crucial to retaining information and academic performance, cognitive functions assessed in this study included verbal learning and the ability to learn or ‘map down’ new information. Published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, this is the first study to prospectively track changes in cognitive function associated with stopping marijuana use over time.

“Our findings provide two pieces of convincing evidence. The first is that adolescents learn better when they are not using cannabis. The second – which is the good news part of the story – is that at least some of the deficits associated with cannabis use are not permanent and actually improve pretty quickly after cannabis use stops.” - Dr. Randi Schuster, Lead Investigator


Schuster, R., Gilman, J., Schoenfeld, D., Evenden, J., Hareli, M., Ulysse, C., Nip, E., Hanly, A., Zhang, H. and Evins, A. (2018). One Month of Cannabis Abstinence in Adolescents and Young Adults Is Associated With Improved MemoryThe Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 79(6).


When Adolescents Give Up Pot, Their Cognition Quickly Improves – NPR

New Evidence Pot May Harm the Teen Brain – HealthDay News

What a 30-day break from smoking weed does to your brain – MarketWatch
quotes co-author MGH investigator Eden Evins

Cannabis Study: Memory And Learning Improve When Teens Quit Smoking Pot – Newsweek

Study: Giving Up Pot for a Month Leads to Better Memory in Young Adults – U.S. News & World Report

Young people who give up pot see rapid improvement in memory, ability to learn – CBC News (Canada)

Quitting cannabis could lead to better memory and cognition – The Guardian

Study: Pot impairs teens’ memory – Boston Herald

Quitting cannabis improves your school grades within DAYS: Young men who gave the drug up scored much better in memory tests afterwards, study finds – Daily Mail

Young people’s memories improved when they stopped using marijuana – Science News

One month without marijuana could mean a better memory for young marijuana users – Boston Globe

Giving up weed for a month ‘massively improves your memory’ – Metro (U.K.)

People who gave up smoking cannabis had a memory boost within a week – New Scientist

Marijuana Is Going To Be Legal  And Profitable But That Doesn’t Mean It’s Harmless –Forbes

Young People Who Gave Up Marijuana Had Better Memory Within One Week –

Cutting cannabis for weeks can aid a user’s memory, study claims – The Irish News

Teens who stop smoking pot saw their memory bounce back – The London Economic