Preliminary Evidence for a Sex-Specific Relationship between Amount of Cannabis Use and Neurocognitive Performance in Young Adult Cannabis Users

Accumulating evidence suggests neuropsychological deficits from cannabis use, with a burgeoning area of preclinical research indicating possible sex-differences. However, few studies have examined how cannabis use may differentially impact neurocognition in male and female cannabis users. As such, we examined potential sex-differences in associations between amount of cannabis use (across several time frames) and neurocognitive performance among young adult regular cannabis users. Consistent with previous studies, more cannabis use was generally associated with poorer episodic memory and decision-making, but not other measures of inhibitory control. However, patterns of results suggested sex-specific dissociations. In particular, more cannabis use was more consistently associated with poorer episodic memory performance in females than males. Conversely, more cannabis use was associated with poorer decision-making performance for males, but not females. These results provide further evidence for residual cannabis-associated neurocognitive deficits and suggest the importance of examining the impact of cannabis on neurocognition separately for males and females

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