Effects affecting thought processes
Two primary cognitive, that is, affecting understanding, the effects of cannabis intoxication are well studied. The first is a reduction in the ability of short-term memory, and the second is a sense of slow motion of time.
The short-term memory disorder observed after cannabis use may also occur after a small dose of the drug. Moreover, the degree of deterioration of short-term memory increases rapidly with the complication of memorization tasks. This effect has been examined and is considered on numerous examples, such as the memorization of words or spoken material. The mechanism of action of marijuana on the memory is not defined, but some approaches to this mechanism have been found. The first reason may be that the user is simply not motivated to resurrect recent material. Although this hypothesis inspires confidence, the testimony suggests that the subject of these experiments takes the task as a challenge and quite willingly answers the questions posed. The second effect caused by cannabis is a change in perception or “veil of interference” that blocks or interferes with the perception or sensation of the material. The third hypothesis is that marijuana creates a reduced ability to concentrate on the present subject. Finally, the effects of cannabis can penetrate into the neurochemical processes that operate memory and restorative operations. The specific factor or the sum of factors that influence memory processes remains unknown, but it seems that they somehow take part in the functioning of short-term memory.
An alternative perception of a period of time is the second cognitive effect of cannabis. This, perhaps, best reflects the expression “a few minutes stretch like a few hours.” This effect was noticed both in the course of research and simply in the stories of people using marijuana. However, the violation of the perception of time is not so clearly derived from scientific reports, as from the subjective evidence of those who tried marijuana.
Other cognitive effects of marijuana are also reported. One of them is a decrease in the ability to concentrate and focus, the person becomes more easily distracted. Many smokers report that cannabis causes a “thought race” and a “struggle of ideas” when thoughts “fly into one ear, flying out of the other.” Another frequently reported effect is increased activity. This is especially true for writers, artists, that is, creative people. Some cannabis users describe rare feelings of “unreality” with heightened attention to a situation or event that had not played any role before.