Research News

Cannabis: anti-aging remedy for the brain?

June, 2017    |

A new study out of the University of Bonn and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem suggests that Cannabis can increase memory performance in aging individuals.

Researchers found that old animals were able to regress to the state of two-month-old mice with a prolonged low-dose treatment of a cannabis active ingredient. This could have wonderful implications for patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

The researchers administered a small quantity of THC to mice aged two, twelve and 18 months over a period of four weeks. Afterwards, they tested learning capacity and memory performance in the animals, such as orientation skills and the recognition of other mice. Mice that were administered a placebo displayed natural age-dependent learning and memory losses, while animals treated with cannabis were just as good as the two-month-old control animals.

After the experiment, the researchers examined the brain tissue and gene activity of the treated mice. They found that the molecular signature no longer corresponded to that of old animals, but was instead very similar to that of young animals. The number of links between the nerve cells in the brain, an important prerequisite for learning ability, also increased.

Moving forward, the researchers want to investigate whether this has applications for human patients.