It may seem counterintuitive, but cannabis may help restore memory. A study published this week found that cannabis helps restore memory loss due to old age. This finding suggests that medical cannabis could be an effective treatment for a number of age-related cognitive disorders.
Cannabis Will Restore Your Memory
Researchers at the University of Bonn, Germany conducted the study. It was published online in the journal “Nature Medicine.”
In the study, researchers wanted to see how cannabis would affect the aging brain. In particular, the study looked at how THC would affect memory.
Researchers gave THC to mice that were two months old, 12 months old, and 18 months old. They then the ran mice through three different tests.
In the first test, the mice had to work their way through a maze. The second test required the mice to find an object. And finally, the third test focused on partner recognition.
Initially, the older mice did not do as well as the younger mice. But their performance improved when researchers gave them THC. In many cases, the older mice ended up doing just as well as their younger counterparts. Interestingly, the younger mice did worse when they were on THC.
Researchers concluded that these results point to a powerful relationship between cannabis and memory in the aging brain.
“Together, these results reveal a profound and long-lasting restore of cognitive performance resulting from a low dose of THC treatment in mature and old animals,” researchers wrote. “THC treatment . . . restored the learning and memory performance of mature and old animals . . . to the levels observed in young mice.”
Memory And The Endocannabinoid System
In this test, researchers focused primarily on THC, which is the main psychoactive chemical in weed. THC is one of the several cannabinoids produced by the cannabis plant. When you consume weed, these chemicals interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system to produce a range of effects.
More specifically, the endocannabinoid system is involved with things like pain, mood, appetite, and memory. As we get older, endocannabinoid activity slows down.
Because of this, researchers believe that the endocannabinoid system plays a key role in the aging process. But when THC activates the endocannabinoid system it can help improve some of the negative effects of aging.
The Final Hit
This most recent study suggested possible uses of medical cannabis. In particular, it provides evidence that cannabis could help improve mental functions in the elderly.
“Cannabis preparations and THC are used for medicinal purposes,” the study said. “They have an excellent safety record and do not produce adverse side-effects when administered at a low dose to older individuals.
“Thus, chronic, low-dose treatment with THC or cannabis extracts could be a potential strategy to slow down or even to reverse cognitive decline in the elderly.”
Similar studies have found that cannabis can help slow down Alzheimer’s disease. Likewise, research suggests that medical cannabis can help those dealing with Parkinson’s disease and other age-related cognitive disorders.