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Hippocampal Neurotoxicity of THC

Article highlights:

  • Researchers conclude that THC causes neuronal death in hippocampal neurons.

  • “THC is neurotoxic at concentrations as low as 0.5–1.0 􏰌M, which are comparable to THC levels measured in human plasma after consumption of marijuana cigarettes.”

  • Even 15 minutes of exposure to THC was toxic for in vitro cultured hippocampal neurons.

  • The effects of marijuana in humans include immunosuppression, compromised cognition, memory loss, and hallucination.

  • Even after quitting using cannabis, memory issues and neuropsychological effects persist.

  • One study shows that cannabinoids could inhibit synaptic function.

  • “Chronic cannabinoid administration to rats causes distinct morphological changes in the hippocampus indicative of neurotoxicity.”

  • “Intrahippocampal injection of cannabinoids in rats impairs spatial memory, suggesting that memory defects are mediated primarily by cannabinoid receptors in the hippocampus."


Guy Chiu-Kai Chan, Thomas R. Hinds, Soren Impey, and Daniel R. Storm


The Journal of Neuroscience, July 15, 1998

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