THC In Cannabis Boosts Cognition In Old Mice

Chronic low-dose THC helped improve the cognition of old mice, but hindered the performance of young mice. Roxana Gonzalez/Shutterstock

Previous work has shown that the endogenous cannabinoid system declines with age. This study, then, fits well with that paradigm. As mice grow old, the activity of their endogenous cannabinoid system does not function as well. However, with some help from THC, it seems some of that function returns to the animals.

This is an interesting finding, particularly in light of the fact that many more seniors are using cannabis. The number of users between the age of 50 and 64 increased by 57.8 percent between 2006 and 2013. For those 65 and older, cannabis use skyrocketed by 250 percent. 

It’s important to note that this study was only done on mice and cannot be extrapolated to humans. More work is needed, so the team plans to study the effects of THC on the cognitive function of senior humans next. 

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