Sci Rep. 2021 Jul 2;11(1):13784. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-93198-5.
Statewide legislation has increased public access to high-potency cannabis flower and concentrates, yet federal restrictions limit researchers’ access to relatively low-potency whole-plant cannabis. The goal of this study was to examine the acute effects of high-potency cannabis on cognition using a novel methodology. We further sought to compare cognitive effects of high-potency cannabis flower with and without cannabidiol (CBD), as well as cannabis concentrates to cannabis flower. 80 cannabis users were randomly assigned to stay sober or use their funds to purchase one of three high-potency cannabis products: (1) high-potency flower (≥ 20% THC) without CBD, (2) high-potency flower with CBD, (3) high-potency concentrates (≥ 60% THC) with CBD. Participants were observed over Zoom videoconferencing while inhaling their product or remaining sober and then were administered tests of everyday life memory (prospective, source, temporal order, and false memory) and decision making (risky choice framing, consistency in risk perception, resistance to sunk cost, and over/under confidence) over Zoom. High-potency cannabis flower with CBD impaired free recall, high-potency flower without CBD and concentrates had detrimental effects on source memory, and all three products increased susceptibility to false memories. CBD did not offset impairments and concentrates were self-titrated producing comparable intoxication and impairment as flower.