Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Marijuana effects on long-term memory assessment and retrieval

  • 438 Accesses

  • 20 Citations


The ability of 16 college-educated male subjects to recall from long-term memory a series of common facts was tested during intoxication with marijuana extract calibrated to 0.3 mg/kg·delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and during placebo conditions. The subjects' ability to assess their memory capabilities was then determined by measuring how certain they were about the accuracy of their recall performance and by having them predict their performance on a subsequent recognition test involving the same recall items. Marijuana had no effect on recall or recognition performance. These results do not support the view that marijuana provides access to facts in long-term storage which are inaccessible during non-intoxication. During both marijuana and placebo conditions, subjects could accurately predict their recognition memory performance. Hence, marijuana did not alter the subjects' ability to accurately assess what information resides in long-term memory even though they did not have complete access to that information.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Abel, E. L.: Marihuana and memory: Acquisition or retrieval. Science 173, 1038–1040 (1971)

  2. Darley, C. F., Tinklenberg, J. R., Roth, W. T., Hollister, L. E., Atkinson, R. C.: Influence of marihuana on storage and retrieval processes in memory. Memory and Cognition 1, 196–200 (1973)

  3. Dornbush, R. L.: Marijuana and memory: Effects of smoking on storage. Trans. N. Y. Acad. Sci. II, 36, 94–100 (1974)

  4. Hart, J. T.: Memory and the feeling-of-knowing experience. J. Educat. Psychol. 56, 208–216 (1965)

  5. Miller, L. L., Drew, W. G., Kiplinger, G. F.: Effects of marijuana on recall of narrative material and Stroop color-word performance. Nature (Lond) 237, 172–173 (1972)

  6. Rubin, V., Comitas, L.: Ganja in Jamaica. The Hague-Paris: Mouton 1975

  7. Tart, C. T.: Marihuana intoxication: Common experiences. Nature (Lond.) 226, 701–704 (1970)

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to J. R. Tinklenberg.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Darley, C.F., Tinklenberg, J.R., Roth, W.T. et al. Marijuana effects on long-term memory assessment and retrieval. Psychopharmacology 52, 239–241 (1977). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00426706

Download citation

Key words

  • Marijuana
  • Tetrahydrocannabinol
  • Memory
  • Memory assessment
  • Recall memory
  • Recognition Memory