Science is constantly researching and studying the effects of cannabis for a range of conditions. Recently researchers at the University of Bonn in Germany published their findings on cannabis and memory in the journal Nature Medicine. During their research the team discovered that small daily doses of cannabis extract improved cognition in aging mice.
When older mice were treated with daily infusions of THC, their cognitive scores improved so significantly that the mice were able to perform tasks as well as, or better than, younger mice. The improvements lasted for many weeks following the treatments.
With such promising results in mice it begs the question. Can cannabis achieve the same results in humans?
Motivated by these results, the researchers at the University of Bonn have drawn up plans to explore the impacts of THC infusions on the cognition of older humans in clinical trials, which could begin as early as this fall.
A concentration on the effects of marijuana on older brains is one of the distinguishing features of the research. This is so significant because degeneration of cognitive functions tends to accelerate after age 40. People in the 35-44 age group already represent one-fifth of the visitors to marijuana dispensaries, while the percentage of older Americans using cannabis is increasing rapidly.
A few years ago, the same research team in Germany reported that the brain’s main cannabis receptors and neural pathways are tied in with healthy brain functioning in later life. These receptors appear to prevent brain degeneration as long as they remain active.
The bigger takeaway here is that the final frontier of science may be inside our own brains, not among the stars. While western scientists have been struggling to understand how the brain works since the Renaissance, some of the biggest advances have come in just the past few years. Many have suggested that we can never really make an AI brain work properly until we know more about our own brains.