Everyone has been there, you're high telling a story and halfway through you completely forget what you were talking about. Now your friends are laughing and you're embarrassed. Ever wondered why that happens? Me too. So I decided to do a little research to give you all an answer to the typical short term memory loss we experience from smoking.
This is going to involve a little bit of science. I'll try to keep it simple because honestly, science is not my forte. But let's get into it!
Our bodies have 2 cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2. These are what allows us to achieve the benefits of cannabis. Without them we'd get no effects. The CB1 receptor is located in the part of our brain that involves memory formation.
According to inverse.com, the CB1 receptors in mitochondria regulate memory formation by regulating how mitochondrial energy is metabolized. Then when we smoke the cannabinoids interrupt the memory process. And bam you forgot what you were talking about.
This type of memory loss is different than that of alcohol drinkers. When someone drinks too much alcohol they can experience black-outs, where their memory may be patchy or completely erased. Cannabis doesn't usually have this strongly of an effect to completely erase time.
Two things happen to our memory when we smoke; it becomes difficult to form new memories and it becomes difficult to recall events while high. This can become super frustrating (trust me I know) but isn't long term. You usually regain your memory as you sober up. However, heavy chronic use of cannabis in the long term can negatively affect memory and verbal memory as cannabis affects our working memory.
Working memory is important for concentration and learning. It's what lets us recall a phone number, a person's name or definition we learned in school. Cannabis interrupts this causing negative effects.
So there you have it! The cannabinoids cause havoc to our poor mitochondria, causing memory loss. Let's hope science finds a way to keep our CB1 receptors safe because I don't know about you but I'm still going to light up on the regular.