I think it’s fair to suggest that most of us who’ve gotten high have, at some point, walked into another room to do something and realized we have no idea what we went off to do. If you’re like me, you probably had a laugh at your brain fart and then hit the fridge for more munchies. If you’re lucky, you experience very few such episodes and they happen at times when it isn’t an inconvenience.
Some people, however, really struggle with short-term memory loss associated with chronic marijuana use. Worse, the impairment may have more negative effects than bailing on a task and going for the stash of munchies instead. If you’re at all concerned about preventing marijuana-induced memory loss or perhaps even looking for ways to reverse it, we may have a few tips that you’ll find worthwhile.
1 – Exercise
For a regular head, exercise might be the furthest thing from your mind. That said, the body has evolved to require movement and work load to maintain its homeostasis of well-being. Exercise affects everything from our muscle tone, core strength and skeletal fitness to the quality of our sleep, our intelligence and, yes, our ability to recall. Both short-term and long-term memory are affected by whether we engage in regular exercise, and that effect is that the more regularly we exercise, the better our memory works.
We literally get smarter through regular exercise. One of the ways exercise helps us improve our smarts is through Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). BDNF is a protein found in the brain and is known as a growth factor. BDNF works to support existing neurons and promote the growth of new ones and is active in the hippocampus, cortex and basal forebrain. These areas of the brain are all vitally important to both learning and memory.
Without going into extreme detail, BDNF is important for our brain health because of the way it promotes neuronal health and development. With regular exercise, we create more BDNF, which promotes the well-being of the neurons upon which we rely for efficient memory, learning and higher thinking.
2 – Meditation
Meditation works in remarkably similar fashion to exercise in that maintaining focused awareness promotes neuronal development, encourages synapses related to focus and awareness to grow closer together and, finally, helps the left and right hemispheres of the brain to synchronize their activity instead of working in more isolated fashion.
When combining meditation with controlled breathing, blood flow in the body normalizes, blood pressure is reduced and serotonin and dopamine are released. Meditation really does help you to feel better. Not only will it make you smarter, it will improve your physical well-being and improve your mood!
3 – Choosing Appropriate Strains
While it might not be immediately obvious, the strains you choose to smoke are an important factor in how your memory may be affected. One of the aspects of marijuana that is of serious interest here are the terpenes present. And in that light, one of the terpenes that is strongly implicated in memory performance is pinene.
Pinene, unsurprisingly, has a somewhat piney scent or flavour. As such, if you’re smoking a strain that has a piney aroma, you’re most likely dealing with a strain that is high in pinene. Consider a strain such as Jack Herrer as a way of increasing your pinene intake.
As well as choosing strains with increased amounts of pinene present, consider high-CBD strains or even mixing a CBD strain such as Charlotte’s Web in with your Jack Herrer, etc. The reason for this is that while THC has been implicated in memory loss, CBD has been shown to help mitigate those effects. By creating your own CBD-rich blend with a high-pinene content strain, you get the best of all possible worlds.
Pro Tip: CBD can help to mitigate an anxiety response to high THC doses and, at the same time, prolong the actual high. This gives a moderating effect of potential psychotic episodes, yet stretches those moderate effects out for a longer duration. To me, that seems like pure win.
4 – Diet and Supplements
Finally, while it’s fun to chow down on bags of Oreos and scarf down an XL pizza, it’s abundantly true that we are what we eat. Nothing that we ingest has zero effect on our state of well-being. As such, if you want to be healthy, then you’ll need to eat healthful foods. The less processed foods you eat, the better. Fresh rules here, so don’t skimp.
For supplementation, I like going heavy on high-quality fish oils to get my Omega-3 fatty acids, which are strongly associated with mental acuity and memory performance. I take a vast array of vitamins, but Omega-3 fatty acids are the #1 go-to with regard to staving off memory lapses and keeping myself sharp.
Till next time, may you enjoy Health, Healing and Herb.