THC Could Reverse Brain Decline in Elderly

Microdosing THC increased memory and learning in older mice; clinical trial on humans is next.

Marijuana Leaves / Image: Getty
Marijuana Leaves / Image: Getty

A recent article from The Guardian discussed a concept suggesting cannabis extract could be the key to slowing or even reversing cognitive decline in old age. The idea stems from a study that found regular, low doses of THC impaired memory and learning in young mice, but increased them in older mice. Scientists administered a month-long dose of THC to mice aged two months, one year, and 18 months, and then monitored their ability to solve a water maze.

Without the drug, the younger mice flew through the maze, while the older mice struggled. However, when dosed with THC, the performance of the younger mice declined significantly, while the older mice performed as highly (pun intended) as the drug-free young mice.

Andras Bilkei-Gorzo, a researcher at the University of Bonn said, “If we can rejuvenate the brain so that everybody gets five to 10 more years without needing extra care then that is more than we could have imagined.” The scientists plan to launch a clinical trial on humans later this year to see if the results translate.

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