There are well documented acute and chronic effects of cannabis use on mental functioning. However, less is known about any effects on cognition within the context of work and everyday life. The aim of the study was to examine any association between cannabis use and cognitive performance, mood and human error at work. Cannabis users and controls completed a battery of laboratory based computer tasks measuring mood and cognitive function pre- and post-work at the start and end of a working week. They also completed daily diaries reporting their work performance. Cannabis use was associated with impairment in both cognitive function and mood, though cannabis users reported no more workplace errors than controls. Cannabis use was associated with lower alertness and slower response organization. In addition, users experienced working memory problems at the start, and psychomotor slowing and poorer episodic recall at the end of the working week. This pattern of results suggests two possible effects. First a 'hangover'-type effect which may increase with frequency of use. Second a subtle effect on cognitive function, perhaps more apparent under cognitive load and/or fatigue, which may increase with more prolonged use. The results also highlight the importance of the timing of testing within the context and routine of everyday life.
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