Publication Details

Solowij, N., Jones, K. A., Rozman, M. E., Davis, S. M., Ciarrochi, J., Heaven, P. C. L., Lubman, D. I. & Yucel, M. (2011). Verbal learning and memory in adolescent cannabis users, alcohol users and non-users. Psychopharmacology, 216 (1), 131-144.


Rationale Long-term heavy cannabis use can result in memory impairment. Adolescent users may be especially vulnerable to the adverse neurocognitive effects of cannabis. Objectives and methods In a cross-sectional and prospective neuropsychological study of 181 adolescents aged 16–20 (mean 18.3 years), we compared performance indices from one of the most widely used measures of learning and memory—the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test—between cannabis users (n=52; mean 2.4 years of use, 14 days/month, median abstinence 20.3 h), alcohol users (n=67) and non-user controls (n=62) matched for age, education and premorbid intellectual ability (assessed prospectively), and alcohol consumption for cannabis and alcohol users. Results Cannabis users performed significantly worse than alcohol users and non-users on all performance indices. They recalled significantly fewer words overall (p

Grant Number

NHMRC/514604, ARC/DP0878925