Use your unique genetic profile to know your predisposition to working memory impairment and mitigate your risks of experiencing an adverse event with cannabis.


Does this ring a bell?

You suffer from widespread joint pain and inflammation. It’s been years since your joint pain started and you still haven’t found a therapy routine that works for more than a day or so. You’re tired of missing out on the things you used to love to do when chronic pain wasn’t holding you back. 

Your neighbor raves about an edible product and says it helps him manage symptoms just like yours. After turning down a jog with a colleague because of your joint pain, you head to the dispensary and buy some edibles. You head home hopeful that what works for your neighbor will work for you, too. 

Twenty minutes after taking the edible, you ask your partner what day it is. She reminds you it’s your mother’s birthday. You give your mother a call, wish her a happy birthday and hang up quickly when you forget who you’re talking to. A minute later, you ask your partner what day it is again. Your partner laughs and tells you to stop joking. When she realizes you aren’t joking, she becomes concerned. 

The next day, you talk with your partner about your sudden memory loss on cannabis. You say it must have been a fluke since you don’t remember having memory impairment when you smoked pot years ago. 


THC adverse events quiz

When your joint pain flares up later that week, you take another edible. You put dinner in the oven and turn on the TV. Every minute or two, you check the clock thinking it’s surely been an hour since you last checked. You lose track of time entirely and only remember your dinner when you see smoke coming from the oven. Your partner gets upset and doesn’t speak with you all evening. 


What is working memory impairment? 

Working memory requires the brain to temporarily store and use information. It’s important for daily reasoning and decision making tasks, like reading, holding a conversation, and doing simple math problems in your head. 

The prefrontal cortex is the primary part of the brain involved in working memory, although there are other parts of the brain involved, too. 

When your working memory is impaired, you may experience a disruption in your ability to store and retrieve information.[2] Working memory impairments can also hinder learning since working memory facilitates problem-solving, troubleshooting, and remembering information.

Working memory impairment can lead to difficulty with:[3]

  • Reading and comprehending text,
  • Following multi-step directions,
  • Staying engaged,
  • Keeping track of time, 
  • Focusing on immediate tasks, and/or
  • Listening and repeating information.

Sometimes working memory impairment can occur in children and adults with learning disabilities or result from severe head trauma. Working memory impairment can also occur on its own or as a result of psychoactive substances, like THC and cannabis. 

Key takeaway:

  • Working memory impairment is a disruption in your ability to store and retrieve information to complete daily tasks like reading or holding a conversation.
  • Symptoms include having trouble staying engaged, following directions, or listening and repeating information.
  • Working memory impairment symptoms can be present with learning disabilities, though they can also occur as a result of psychoactive substance use, like THC or cannabis. 
cannabis strains vs formulations

Working memory impairment as an adverse effect of THC.

Like all chemical compounds, including prescription medications and other substances, cannabis can lead to side effects.

Some cannabis side effects are therapeutic. They allow you to relax and provide relief from disorders, diseases, or discomfort.

Other cannabis side effects, however, cause distress to the body and result in adverse events.

Approximately 31% of the general population has reported experiencing an adverse event with THC, making adverse reactions fairly common.[4†]

Adverse events with THC can leave you confused, afraid, or wondering if cannabis therapy is right for you—especially if you experience intense forgetfulness or working memory impairment with cannabis.

If you’re considering using cannabis for any reason, you should know your risks of experiencing adverse events with THC. With the right knowledge, precautions, and cannabinoid and terpene formulations, you can achieve the optimal experience for your therapeutic needs and mitigate side effects of working memory impairment with cannabis.

Knowing your risks starts with understanding your genetic predisposition to adverse events.

You should always consult your healthcare provider when making decisions regarding your wellness routine and cannabis therapy.

Key takeaway:

  • Like prescription medications and other chemical compounds, cannabis can lead to side effects.
  • If you’re genetically predisposed to working memory impairment, you may be at risk of experiencing forgetfulness or have trouble holding a conversation as a side effect of THC.
  • The first step to mitigating working memory impairment with cannabis is understanding your genetic predispositions so you can determine if you’re at risk for adverse events.

Working memory, THC, and your endocannabinoid system.

Your endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a system of messengers found throughout your body. Like most of your biological systems, your ECS is as unique as your thumbprint. It’s functioning is determined by genetic, epigenetic, developmental, and environmental factors. Along with a host of critical functions, your ECS is responsible for regulating important systems like your mood, appetite, and immune function.

When you use a particular cannabis varietal, strain, or product, the cannabinoid and terpene profiles interact with your endocannabinoid system. The external cannabinoids (exogenous cannabinoids) are added to your system’s internal cannabinoids (endocannabinoids), which can disrupt or augment your ECS messaging.

Psychoactive effects from cannabis, like forgetfulness or memory impairment,  are caused by cannabinoids binding to the cannabinoid receptors within your body. Depending on the cannabinoid and terpene ratios of your cannabis product and your own unique genetic coding, the resulting effects are either therapeutic or lead to an adverse reaction.[5]

If you’re predisposed to working memory impairment based on your genotype, you may be at risk for experiencing forgetfulness or have trouble holding a conversation as an adverse event with THC.

If THC is used chronically, it can lead to decreased cognitive abilities, even if you’re not intoxicated. This, however, is not permanent and cognitive abilities can be fully restored after chronic use is stopped.[6]

Key takeaway:

  • When cannabinoids enter your body, they disrupt the normal functioning of your endocannabinoid system (ECS).
  • This can result in adverse events and trigger symptoms of forgetfulness in populations who are genetically predisposed to working memory impairment.

.How to mitigate symptoms of forgetfulness when you’re using cannabis.

If you’ve experienced adverse events with THC, or if the risk of experiencing adverse events with THC is preventing you from trying cannabis therapy, you should know that adverse side effects are completely manageable.

The key to mitigating symptoms of forgetfulness when you’re using cannabis is to decode your genetics, discover your unique endocompatibility, and use cannabis strains, varietal, and products with cannabinoid and terpene profiles that are aligned with your genotype.

With the right science-backed knowledge and wellness plan, you can find reliable products to optimize your cannabis therapy outcomes.

To learn more, take this 10 question quiz and discover if you may be genetically predisposed to adverse events with THC.



1 *Endocanna Health used specific allele frequencies and genotype heterozygosity to determine general population percentages for genetic predispositions.

4. †Endocanna Health determined the potential predisposition of THC adverse events in the general population.


Endocanna Health is a biotechnology company committed to helping consumers find the right cannabinoid products to enhance their health and wellness. Using our breakthrough DNA test, Endo·dna, we empower you to take control of your health with access to over 55 different health reports that include suggestions for the best CBD and cannabis products that match your unique genetic code. Visit us here to find out more!