After 10 years, older HIV patients show better cognitive performance with occasional cannabis use

Over a period of up to 10 years, this study tracked levels of cannabis use and cognitive and everyday function in 297 older adults (age 50 to 84) with HIV. It was published in May 2023 in the journal AIDS and Behavior.

"Multi-level models examined the effects of average and recent cannabis use on global cognition, global cognitive decline, and functional independence."

The cannabis 'use categories' used by the authors:

  1. frequent (> weekly) (23 patients)
  2. occasional (≤ weekly) (83 patients)
  3. and non-cannabis users (191 patients)


Overall, those who used cannabis about once a week showed better cognitive performance than those who never used cannabis. 

The authors' comments:

Occasional cannabis users showed better global cognitive performance overall compared to non-cannabis users.

Rates of cognitive decline and functional problems did not vary by average cannabis use. 

Recent THC exposure may have a temporary adverse impact on memory (did not extend to reports of functional declines)


The paper abstract is here at Springer Link. The full text version is unfortunately behind a paywall.