With all the speculation around regarding medical benefits of cannabis, a new study has found that low doses of THC could help restore memory, at least in mice.
So, you ask, it works for mice but what about humans? We will get to that part in due course, but the study itself is a very interesting one for those in the field of researching medical cannabis.
The study, published recently in the Nature Medicine Journal, found that THC, one of the main chemicals in cannabis, restores memory in ageing mice, and that could have some impact for humans.
The study, carried out by German researchers, over a period of 28 days, put one group of mice of all ages on continual doses of THC. The other group of mice were given a placebo. The cognitive ability of the mice was tested, and usually a decline in those would be the expected result. However…
After the study period was up, the older mice who had been given the daily THC had regained memory, cognitive and learning skills, to the point where they were in line with young, healthy mice.
Researchers where left a little shocked when the older ‘THC’ mice were able to perform equally with young and healthy mice who were given the placebo.
But it wasn’t just the cognitive skills of the mice that were tested. The researchers also examined the brains of the mice and found something interesting in the hippocampus — a part of the brain strongly involved with memory. They compared synapses and nerve connections, and found the brains of the older mice that had been on THC had physically changed, for the better.
Obviously this study was carried out on mice and not on humans, and that means it’s relevance is limited for now. However, it does open the door to similar research, in order to ascertain once and for all the benefits, if any, of THC for humans.
Learn more about THC and how it enters the human brain.