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Call for Papers

Special Issue of JINS:

Clarifying the Complexities of Cannabis and Cognition

Policy is rapidly changing in the United States, increasing access to cannabis and cannabinoid products and sparking substantial national interest in cannabis science. Cannabinoids, such as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), interact with the endogenous endocannabinoid system, which plays a prominent role in developmental brain processes, neuroplasticity, and cognition. Although evidence supports potential harmful effects associated with chronic, recreational cannabis use, especially in vulnerable populations (e.g., prenatal or adolescent exposure), there are also known medicinal benefits of both THC and CBD. Still, several areas of cannabis research have generated mixed findings, suggesting that the link between cannabis and neurocognitive outcomes is rich and complex. This special issue will focus primarily on clarifying the complexities of the impact of cannabis and cannabinoids on cognition and brain outcomes, as new areas of research aim to examine underlying mechanisms, assess potential recovery of neurocognitive function with abstinence, identify moderators of cannabis effects, and tease apart the impact of cannabinoid content, route of administration, and potency.

Investigators are invited to submit empirical papers, reviews, or meta-analyses for a special issue of JINS to be published in the second half of 2020. We are seeking cutting-edge data that help clarify the relationship between acute and chronic cannabis and cannabinoid exposure on neurocognitive outcomes. We are particularly interested in papers that address the following topics: 1) effects of cannabis on neurocognitive outcomes in vulnerable groups (e.g., psychiatric comorbid disorders, genetic risk); 2) recovery of function following sustained cannabis abstinence; 3) neurocognitive effects in medical cannabis patients; 4) whether biological sex, ethnicity, or age moderate neurocognitive effects; 5) impact of potency, route of administration, product type, and cannabinoid content on neurocognitive outcomes; 6) impact of co-use of cannabis and other substances; and 7) prospective, longitudinal studies addressing causality. 


Krista Lisdahl, PhD

Associate Professor

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Staci Gruber, PhD

Associate Professor

Harvard Medical School

Francesca Filbey, PhD


University of Texas-Dallas

Papers may be submitted at:

Please indicate in your cover letter that your submission is in response to the call for papers for the special issue on Clarifying the Complexities of Cannabis and Cognition.

Deadline for submission is extended to July 15, 2020.