Can Marijuana Help With Reading?

In our latest question, our pharmacist discusses the impact that cannabis has on reading comprehension.
Can Marijuana Help With Reading?

Michael M. Asked

I find that marijuana relaxes me and I like to be relaxed when I read. However, if I study after using marijuana I find that I can't remember what I read. Is there a way to use cannabis or is there a cannabis-related product that I can use to help me achieve the same relaxed state but also not impair my memory?


Cannabis interferes with short-term memory and reading comprehension.
Cannabis can certaintly enhance the experience of reading but it will probably slow you down and cause you to reread more often.
Using a lower dose of THC or switching to a sublingual or edible product may reduce impairment compared to smoking.


Hi Mike and thanks for the question. Nothing beats a good book and sometimes cannabis can make reading even more enjoyable. After all, cannabis is known for enhancing our senses. 

"There’s something euphoric about becoming engrossed in the pages of a good book and letting the cannabis do its thing; letting your mind relax and allowing the words to flow over you to the point where it becomes a vivid projector, creating strong images of every page you read." - 10 Great Books for Cannabis Lovers

Cannabis doesn't make reading better for everyone though. Some people might find it more difficult to read after using cannabis or find that it's harder to remember what they've just read. To understand more about this let's learn how cannabis impacts reading comprehension. 

How Does Cannabis Impact Reading Comprehension?

Cannabis contains compounds called cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, which can affect the brain and body in various ways. While marijuana may help with certain conditions, such as pain or nausea, most evidence suggests that cannabis (specifically THC) negatively impacts reading comprehension.

Remember THC is the intoxicating component of the cannabis plant. Research shows that THC impairs short term memory. To learn more about how cannabis can impact short term memory or cognitive function read our dedicated articles on these topics. 

A 2010 study found that cannabis slows down the rate at which people read and causes them to go back and reread sentences more often. 

"Overall, we found that the cannabis group exhibited increased sentence reading times associated with reduced text comprehension." - Long-term effects of cannabis on eye movement control in reading

That doesn't mean that cannabis can't make reading more fun though. And let's face it, sometimes being efficient isn't everything and you just want to enjoy the book you're reading. However, if you re reading for the purposes of studying; to learn or understand a new concept cannabis can be counterproductive to your aim. 

It's important to note that marijuana can have both short-term and long-term effects on cognitive function, including memory, attention, and concentration. These effects can vary depending on multiple factors including the dose of THC, frequency of use, and individual differences.

How To Enjoy Cannabis And Still Remember What You've Read?

If you're experiencing difficulties with reading or any other cognitive tasks after using cannabis, I would recommend utilizing a lower dose of THC. Since there's such wide variability in individual response to cannabis it'd be hard for me to say what a good dose for you is, but 2.5-5 mg is usually a good starting point. 

Another thing you could consider is using a different dosage form or route of administration, like sublingual or edible products. These dosage forms tend to produce milder effects (because they result in lower levels of THC in the blood) when compared to smoking and vaping similar doses. 

I hope this helps answer your question! Please feel free to reach back out at anytime!

  1. Long-term effects of cannabis on eye movement control in reading (PubMed).
  2. The effect of cannabis use on memory function: an update (PubMed).
  3. The short-term and long-term effects of cannabis on cognition: recent advances in the field (Article).

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