I have been a daily marijuana smoker for more than 9 years. I am 25 and I work in a job which does not require much brain work. I feel like I am much less intelligent than I used to be and I have that stereotypical pot-head dopeyness and lack of short term memory thing going on. It’s embarrassing and I worry about permanent brain damage. If I quit smoking marijuana entirely will my brain recover and will I be as sharp as I used to be in the pre marijuana days? I think I need to get my life on a different pathway but I am concerned that I’ve really harmed myself after all these years of heavy toking.
There's a good deal of evidence that long-term cannabis abuse, particularly during adolescence, can lead to long-term losses in cognitive functioning, particularly in motivation, ability to learn new information, and memory. However, the level of loss can only be known once you've stopped smoking and your brain has a chance to "recover". The recovery period for most drugs is about 6-12 months. After than, you can evaluate what the long-term effects have been. Many of these however, may be addressed with a good psychiatrist who can address problems of poor motivation or concentration.