Effects of Δ9-THC on working memory: Implications for schizophrenia?

Nehal P. Vadhan, Mark R. Serper, Margaret Haney

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This article reviews the literature on the acute effects of Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the primary psychoactive component of marijuana, on working memory, and the implications for schizophrenia. Working memory deficits are a hallmark feature of schizophrenia, and have been implicated as an etiologic mechanism contributing to the onset of the disorder. Regular marijuana smokers may also exhibit subtle working memory impairment relative to healthy controls, and an association between marijuana abuse and subsequent development of schizophrenia, though controversial, has been reported in the literature. The causal role that marijuana plays in working memory impairment related to schizophrenia, however, remains unclear. Thus, this article specifically considers the acute effects of marijuana on working memory performance. The ecologic relevance and clinical significance of these findings will be examined, and directions for future research will be recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-59
Number of pages9
JournalPrimary Psychiatry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2009
Externally publishedYes


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