by Graham Pierrepoint
Cannabis many believe receives something of a bad rap – it is widely banned throughout the world as a recreational drug, yet is commonly smoked by millions – it is perhaps considered the ‘lowest’ of the classed and banned substances, yet it seems to have courted just as much controversy as any other. Cannabis can be supplied medically to support and ease certain conditions such as arthritis, and many have attributed a lack of stress to regular smoking – however, it is still considered a substance that can severely impair judgment, and the world is yet to legalize it in the majority. Studies revealed this week, however, that there may be more to cannabis than we perhaps understand – and it will certainly be good news for any smokers.
Researchers at the University of Bonn, Germany, have discovered that a daily dose of THC – tetrahydrocannabinol – could boost the performance of older brains, while it seems to impair younger ones. THC was supplied to mice of varying ages over a month, allowing younger and older mice to complete mazes before and after supplication. The older mice performed better after being subjected to THC, while the younger rodents faltered – raising the question, could cannabis be used to actively slow or reverse mental decline in old age? If the tests are to be believed, it could mean that learning and cognitive difficulties experienced in later life may be offset by THC – a rather controversial discovery which, of course, may vary should it ever come to human trials.
However, restrictions on cannabis even extend to testing in human trials, meaning it may be some time before we know more about how THC could help to level out cognitive difficulty in old age. The research does, however, suggest that regular supplication may impact negatively upon the cognitive function of younger users – meaning that, unfortunately, the news is something of a mixed bag for cannabis activists.
Animal trials can vary drastically to human testing – as previously reported here at One News Page, it remains to be seen whether or not successful animal trials in finding resistance against HIV could translate well to humanity. That being said, it will also raise further questions as to whether or not cannabis is detrimental to brain development, or indeed helpful in aiding repair. With laws very much unmoving, we could have a fair amount of time to wait.