One of the biggest misconceptions about cannabis is that it makes you stupid. The way that stoners are portrayed in popular culture doesn’t do much to dispel this. Aging stoners in movies and TV are usually goofy looking old hippie types that dispense cliched one liners–think Tommy Chong’s character in That 70’s Show. He was funny, but he was a total dumb ass. It’s time to retire this stereotype because it turns out that cannabis may help you turn into a wise old sage after all. New research shows that cannabis may help improve cognitive abilities as you age.
Researchers at the University of Bonn Institute of Molecular Psychiatry in Germany have discovered that low doses of THC have improved learning abilities and memory in aging mice. The key here is low doses, so don’t smoke yourselves into a coma. Researchers administered low doses of THC to mice of 2,12, and 18 months. The results were surprising. THC impaired cognitive abilities, such as learning and memory in the youngest mice, but did the opposite with the old (12-18 months-old) mice.
According to the researchers, “The same treatment rejuvenated old brains, whereas it made the young brains old. The reason of this phenomenon is that the activity of cannabinoid system declines in aging. In old animals, THC treatment restored the failing cannabinoid system activity, whereas it overactivated the normally functioning cannabinoid system in young animals.” Can we retire that goofy old stoner stereotype, yet?
Wait, it gets more interesting. Apparently what THC did to the brains of the older mice was it “restored hippocampal gene transcription patterns such that the expression profiles of THC-treated mice aged 12 months closely resembled those of THC-free animals aged 2 months,” according to the researchers. Next, the team hopes to conduct clinical trials on elderly participants.
I’m over the age of 25 and my brain has stopped developing, so that’s good news for me. *lights up*
Image Source: Herb.co
What are your thoughts? Any aging stoners out there want to attest to how cannabis has helped your cognitive abilities? Share in the comments