Marijuana Can Be Used to Counteract the Effects of Aging in the Brain

A study is proving that medical marijuana can have a positive impact on age-related cognitive decline.

Of the many perils of aging, memory loss is one that happens to every person to at least some extent. A study known as the Whitehall II study has shown that memory loss actually begins to occur at age 45, much earlier than the previously thought age of 60 years old. With cognitive deterioration such a widespread issue, it is important to find ways to treat it.

It was determined in a study published in Nature Medicine on May 8th, that using marijuana can help to reverse the aging process of the brain. The study, which was conducted by researchers from Bonn University in Germany and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem provided aging mice with a “chronic, low-dose of THC.” The results of the study are incredible and have the potential to change the way we think about and treat age-related cognitive decline.

When the study was complete, the mice, which were aged twelve-eighteen months old, had the same cognitive capacity as mice aged two months. According to the authors of the study,

“We show that a low dose of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) reversed the age-related decline in cognitive performance of mice aged 12 and 18 months.” They went on to state, “This behavioral effect was accompanied by enhanced expression of synaptic marker proteins and increased hippocampal spine density.”

The researchers involved in the study suggest that the key to relieving the effects of aging on the brains of the mice was “restoration of CB1 signaling in old individuals.” The CB1 receptor is a g-protein coupled receptor located primarily in the body’s central nervous system and in the brain.

 

The seemingly groundbreaking nature of the study is actually not completely out of nowhere. It has long been known that marijuana use can treat the effects of alzheimer’s, dementia, TBI and other brain related ailments. What is important about this study is that it shows that marijuana at a low-dose can be used to counteract the general detriments of cognitive aging that we all can expect to face late in our lives.

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