Researchers from the University of Bonn in Germany and Hebrew University in Jerusalem (Israel) have done a study to investigate whether cannabis can improve brain function once endocannabinoid system (ECS) activity is increased by administering cannabis.
Lead researcher Andreas Zimmer and his team got three categories of mice for this study. The first group of mice was two months old while the second group was 12 months old. The third group of mice was 18 months old. These three groups represented the young, mature and old age-groups respectively.
The mice in each age group either received a placebo or had an implant that released THC slowly into the bloodstream. This was done consistently for 28 days after which several days were allowed to elapse with no THC being administered. This abstinence period was referred to as the washout period.
Additionally, all the mice (whether they got THC or a placebo) took part in memory and behavioral tests. For example, one activity involved testing whether the mice recognized other mice to which they had been exposed prior to receiving the placebo or THC.
Another test required the mice to locate a safe platform in a pool of water. The time taken during this activity was recorded for all the mice in the study.
The results of the study were eye-opening. For example, the young mice (the group which was two months old) showed a deterioration in their memory function after receiving THC. In contrast, the mature (12 months old) mice showed an improvement in their memory function. How could this be?
The researchers studied the brain structures of these mature mice and discovered that the brains suddenly looked young (comparable to those of the two-month old mice). Specifically, the hippocampus acquired new synaptic spines, a sign that brain neurons could now communicate more effectively with each other, and thereby heighten brain activity.
In other words, the THC had rewritten the genetic programming of the brains of the mature mice. The researchers used the elimination method to discount any other factor which could be responsible for the improved brain function and the result was that the THC reversed the aging of the brain cells.
What do these results mean for humans? The work done by Zimmer and his team shows a high likelihood that older humans can see improvements in brain function if they consume cannabis. However, this isn’t a certainty until human trials are done and documented. The good news is that Zimmer has already secured funding to study how THC affects memory function in humans.
The study involving human subjects will paint a clearer picture of how cannabis can be used to combat mental decline with age, especially dementia. Redfund Capital Corp. (CSE: LOAN) (OTC: PNNRF) (Frankfurt: O3X4), SinglePoint, Inc. (OTCQB: SING) and the entire cannabis industry wish Zimmer and his team of researchers all the best in their bid to broaden how much we know about cannabis and its medicinal value.
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