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Researchers out of Boston found that abstaining from cannabis use for a month can boost the memory function of young people, but has no effect on attention skills. 

The scientists, out of Massachusetts General Hospital's Center for Addiction Medicine, studied 88 youths between the age of 16 and 25 who use cannabis at least once a week, and split them into two groups. One group continued their regular cannabis use, while the other agreed to stop for 28 days. Urine tests were used to ensure they stayed sober. 

Participants then took regular computer tests over the month to asses their cognitive skills. The two groups showed no difference in attention skills, but memory improved markedly for those who stopped using cannabis, particularly in the first week. 

It is believed the results stem from how THC interacts with receptors throughout the brain. THC binds to receptors in the brain primarily concentrated in regions crucial for memory and cognitive function. The same areas are the least-developed in adolescents, potentially making the younger population more vulnerable to the negative effects of THC. 

Scientists have now launched a follow-up trial of cannabis users between the ages of 13 to 19 to compare memory functions of regular users abstaining from cannabis to the levels of non-users. Another study beginning shortly will be done over a six-month period to determine whether abstaining from cannabis can be linked to better academic performance. 

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/oct/30/quitting-cannabis-can-lead-better-memory-cognition-us-research

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