A new study in the journal Nature Medicine suggests that A chronic low dose of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) restores cognitive function in old mice. THC is the psychoactive compound in marijuana (Cannabis sativa).
In it's May 8th (2017) publication, Nature Medicine reported that a low dose of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) “reversed the age-related decline in cognitive performance of mice aged 12 and 18 months“. Now understand that these are not human trials, and that further study is necessary… But the results are raising eyebrows.
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Benefits of Marijuana on Aging
This data would suggest the answer is “maybe” (for mice). There's a lot to uncover here, including many more animal studies as well as human trials. Any volunteers? 🙂
Here's some additional detail from the author(s):
The transcriptional effects of THC were critically dependent on glutamatergic CB1 receptors and histone acetylation, as their inhibition blocked the beneficial effects of THC. Thus, restoration of CB1 signaling in old individuals could be an effective strategy to treat age-related cognitive impairments. – Andras Bilkei-Gorzo et al, journal Nature Medicine, 5/8/17
We are on the precipice of uncovering some of the many new health benefits medical marijuana holds for aging adults. Lots of folks are aware of the potential for reducing opioid addiction (because of the pain killer effect of marijuana). Likewise, people are also aware of the anti-nausea effects of pot, making it a miracle drug for those undergoing chemo-therapy or recovering from other illnesses. But it hasn't been until recently that we've been discussing the relationship between marijuana and brain aging.
Here's hoping that the medical research moves forward, and we continue to discover new benefits related to this amazing plant. The winds of change are a blowing… Let's hope it ignites a fire for those in need.