New study reveals cannabis could reverse brain ageing (in mice)

Could cannabis restore memory and reverse the effects of ageing on the brain?

Popular theory (usually from those who don’t know) suggests that cannabis use depletes brain activity. But a new study has found that the active ingredient in cannabis may actually restore memory and reverse the effects of ageing on the brain.

The study, published in Nature Medicine, was conducted on a group of mice over one month by scientists in Germany.

One group of mice was given small amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in cannabis, while the other was given a placebo.

After 28 days, the mice underwent cognitive tests. The results were quite surprising.

The older mice, which had received THC, became smarter over time, and their intellectual ability matched that of the younger mice that were given placebos.

After the test was completed, the scientists examined the brains of all the mice. They found that the brains of mice which received THC were physically altered. They looked exactly like the brains of the younger mice on placebos.

This may sound like good news for humans, but as ABC science commentator Dr Karl Kruszelnicki explains, mice are not human.

“In fact, the brains of mice are very different from the brains of humans. As an example, we have found about a thousand treatments that help with Alzheimer's disease in mice. How many of them work in humans? Maybe three, and that's a big maybe,” wrote Dr Karl.

Still, scientists are encouraged enough by these results to begin looking at THC’s potential use as a treatment for neurological conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease. The next logical step would be clinical trials on humans.

“Although there is a long path from mice to humans, I feel extremely positive about the prospect that THC could be used to treat dementia, for instance,” said North Rhine-Westphalia Science Minister Svenja Schulz.

Would you be inclined to partake in clinical trials?

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    COMMENTS

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    Cleo
    12th Jul 2017
    11:06am
    I am not easily offended, but you managed it. Your email subject line references this article as "Could cannabis stop brain rot". To suggest or imply that 'neurological conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease', or indeed ageing in itself, is a sign of a rotting brain, is completely inexcusable, particularly from an organisation purporting to be Australia's leading retirement website. A public retraction and apology is in order.
    Ted Wards
    12th Jul 2017
    11:35am
    I agree with the aging part, but unfortunately the brain does literally rot away slowly with some conditions. However to label it as such is appalling, especially when you know people with these conditions and know how cruel they are. However there are real studies on people which show the positive effects of music and dancing on people living with conditions such as Alzheimer's.
    Rosret
    12th Jul 2017
    11:43am
    Yes, Ted I agree with you as well. That is exactly what is happening to the brain. Bit by bit pathways close down, the neurons die and are not being replaced.
    I get annoyed that my "RAM chip" is not as effective as it was. I hate not being able to hold rego plate numbers and phone numbers in my head as I so easily used to be able to do.
    Rosret
    12th Jul 2017
    11:38am
    Now I am not sure where these statistics come from - perhaps a group of pot smoking uni students.
    When marijuana was more popular in the 90s high school students would return from their lunch break and giggle their way through the afternoon lessons.
    So what intelligence factor is marijuana linked to? Stress reduction maybe.
    A boy in my son's class wrote his name on the top of his HSC paper and nothing else for the entire 3 hour exam - totally in fairy land for the duration - no exam nerves there.
    I am all for medicinal drugs where needed but it needs to be carefully prescribed.
    *Loloften*
    13th Jul 2017
    1:20am
    Apparently Medicinal Marijuana doesn't have that "dopey" affect. It's most highly recommended for illnesses like Epilepsy.
    Anonymous
    17th Jul 2017
    1:45am
    And for many other illnesses, Loloften. It's believed now to have major health benefits if used responsibly.

    Overdosing or otherwise abusing prescription medicines is equally harmful, Rosret. It's all about management - not the substance.
    jackyd
    12th Jul 2017
    12:38pm
    The chemical component that is being used to fight cancer and pain relief is described as CBD but this is only one of the hundreds of properties this plant offers humanity. Along with building materials and medicinal applications, the latest discovery is that the fibers offer better properties than graphine as a conductor and as a consequence will be much cheaper to produce.
    The plant has been used in various forms for thousands of years, the stigma and criminalization is a more recent position encouraged mainly by big pharma.
    Jennie
    12th Jul 2017
    12:41pm
    I totally support medical use of marijuana.
    However as Cleo said the use of "brain rot" in the email title is offensive and I would say as offensive as the word "retard."
    Personally I do not want to take any substances that alter my brain function and that includes anti depressants (which I understand act a placebo with nasty side effects.)
    There is indeed "a long path from mice to humans."
    As I react with vomiting to many pain medications I suspect marijuana would have that effect too, even though it helps with nausea and pain relief medicinally. I have never tried pot so this is a guess.

    12th Jul 2017
    3:54pm
    I support any use of any element that will help human beings to enjoy a better quality of life. I also stress that the testing of any elements must be made complete before release for human use. I also believe that any such medication should be prescribed by health professionals. Tests over time have shown that marijuana has a harmful affect on humans, especially when overused even though a small part of the plant is beneficial.
    *Loloften*
    13th Jul 2017
    1:34am
    A "small part of that plant" is the only one that is being produced as Medicinal Marijuana OM (removal of addictive part) ie: relaxant for Epilepsy sufferers & advanced Cancer patients who are on various doses of very addictive morphine. The "powers that be" must have put this plant on our planet for a reason. Sure, there's millions of other things those or that depending on one's beliefs "powers that be" have put on our planet re killer spiders/animals but as far as I know, not a killer plant.
    *Loloften*
    13th Jul 2017
    1:37am
    PS Old Man....definitely agree that has to be prescribed by a trusted Health Professional who knows his patients/history very well.
    Jennie
    13th Jul 2017
    9:37am
    Yes, good comment. I have signed on line petitions supporting use of this substance for children with epilepsy. This is often their only hope.
    Anonymous
    17th Jul 2017
    1:49am
    Loloften, I'm not sure I'd place too much trust in any ''Health Professional'', as they are typically loathe to prescribe any treatment that doesn't make money for big pharma!

    A woman I know was diagnosed with minor early-stage bowel cancer. The condition was definitely not terminal, but she died of chemo poisoning. Big city hospital. Supposedly top notch health professionals. The chemo was ''a precaution'' after surgery was said to have removed the cancer completely.
    shirboy
    12th Jul 2017
    5:20pm
    Turmeric & coconut oil have been talked about.
    *Loloften*
    13th Jul 2017
    1:44am
    Thx for the heads up shirboy however my late hubby took both of 'em regularly when diagnosed as terminal after I searched web for many long nites for anything that may help ....both great for healthy peeps but not for terminal cancer patients.
    Anonymous
    17th Jul 2017
    1:33am
    I have a friend who was told he had 3 months to live after a diagnosis of leukaemia. His response: "Well, if I'm dying, I'm going to use POT.'' Doctor said he wouldn't report him. Nine years later, he's fit and well and holding a full-time job - and still happily using! Nothing at all wrong with his brain, and I've never known him to act irrationally.

    Another friend was given the ''death sentence'' years ago after being diagnosed with cancer. He's been kept alive and functioning with chemo and radiation therapy, but now doctors are moving him onto medical marijuana treatment and say they are confident it will both extend his life and improve his quality of life dramatically, as well as costing much less. They have said it might even cure him completely. In his shoes, I'd be trying it!
    Anonymous
    17th Jul 2017
    1:41am
    Loloften, I know people who have survived cancer with radical dietary changes - generally designed to make major changes to acidity levels in the body. A bi-carb soda treatment program is said to work miracles, and the science behind it makes sense to me. I'd certainly try it before accepting chemo or radiation treatment. Alkalinity is known to kill cancer cells, but caution is needed because it kills healthy cells as well. The right balance is essential.

    Tumeric is brilliant for a vast range of problems, including arthritis and gout, and coconut oil certainly has major health benefits, but I've never heard either credited with curing cancer or reducing the speed of demise from it.
    Watto
    12th Jul 2017
    6:33pm
    Its illegal. why the story ? Whats the next study? that people with Red letterboxes are happier than people with Blue letterboxes.
    *Loloften*
    13th Jul 2017
    1:45am
    Get a life/compassion Watto
    Misty
    13th Jul 2017
    1:52pm
    Might be illegal here Watto but is slowly becoming legal in many countries, I get emails fairly regularly from investment prophets who say new USA states are allowing recreational cannabis to be used legally.
    What I cannot understand is why when all the tests have been done overseas and passed as safe for humans on this product and also others our govt then says they have to be tested here, are we not the same as all other humans?, why go through expensive time wasting tests that have already been done, depriving people of a sometimes helpful remedy.
    Anonymous
    17th Jul 2017
    1:43am
    Our government is also looking at legalizing. It's legal in a lot of other places and it's been shown to have health benefits if used responsibly. We certainly SHOULD be carefully examining the wisdom of our current laws.

    Misty, I agree! It's crazy that some people have to go abroad to access treatments that have been tested and found safe, but that our government is not prepared to make available to Australians.
    ex PS
    17th Jul 2017
    10:02am
    It used to be illegal to drive a motor vehicle without a man walking in front of it with a warning flag. Thankfully, things change, would this be a change for the better, who knows?
    I would rather see spirit freeing drugs legalized so that my family will not suffer the pain of seeing me degenerate to a state where I can't do any thing for myself. I should be able to determine when and how I go.
    Jennie
    17th Jul 2017
    11:05am
    ex PS you can learn how to determine when and how you go if you join Exit International which is a legal organisation. Don't expect the law and doctors to give you permission!
    Misty
    13th Jul 2017
    1:53pm
    This can be a help for many ailments if prescribed safely.
    Capn Dan
    2nd Aug 2018
    12:08am
    Ignoring the 'rot'

    In Canada, the medical issues have been treated in another way for quite a while leading to the national decriminalisation and regulated sale beginning this October.

    Does anyone remember voting for the US lead corrupt 'war on drugs' in Australia?

    https://www.cannimed.ca/pages/faq#faq-general

    Cannabis will be legal on October 17.

    https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-medication/cannabis/laws-regulations.html
    philipsmatkar
    26th Aug 2018
    12:48pm
    Herbal medicine are more likely be the choice of many now a days specially prescription drugs are not only over the top when it come to price but I also kills your liver along the way. Had a lot of experience with medical cannabis since it's working for me. I learn a lot from this website https://eu.gyo.green/tga-subcool-seeds-querkle-tga-qkl-r.html/. That different strains of cannabis was a use for each diseases.


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