In recent years, cannabis has gained significant popularity for its potential health benefits. While tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) tends to get the most attention for its high, cannabidiol (CBD) has an incredible slew of therapeutic properties of its own, including its positive impact on memory. Keep reading as we dive into the scientific evidence surrounding CBD and its effects on memory.
The Basics of CBD
Before we cover the effects on memory, it's essential to understand what CBD is. CBD is a non-psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant. Unlike its well-known counterpart, THC, CBD does not cause intoxication or euphoria. Instead, it interacts with the endocannabinoid system, a complex network of cellular receptors that helps keep our internal processes stable, allowing us to maintain the balance necessary for daily living.
CBD and Memory
The relationship between CBD and memory is complex, and research is still in its early stages, but we already have clinical evidence showing how this phytocannabinoid may benefit memory. While CBD does not bind directly with CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain, it can still support endocannabinoids that do bind with cannabinoid receptors, and has been found to interact with other receptors and neurotransmitters throughout the brain. Studies suggest that CBD may positively impact memory through these various mechanisms:
CBD boasts antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Clinical evidence is emerging that these properties have shown potential neuroprotective benefits of the phytocannabinoid. This means that it may aid in protecting brain cells from damage or degeneration and could have positive results on memory-related conditions.
Anxiety and Stress Reduction
It’s no secret that chronic stress can negatively impact our health in numerous ways, including the impairment of memory function. Additionally, high levels of stress and anxiety can impact our sleep, which is vital to our memory and cognitive function. CBD has demonstrated anxiolytic effects, reducing stress and anxiety levels. This shows us that it may indirectly improve memory performance by combating chronic stress and anxiety.
The hippocampus is a brain region crucial for memory formation and consolidation. A recent study suggests that CBD might promote hippocampal neurogenesis, which is the growth of new neurons. This could positively impact memory!
While we await further research, CBD's potential applications for memory-related conditions could be groundbreaking. Some areas where CBD may prove to be beneficial are:
Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia
CBD's neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties could be beneficial in mitigating the cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. One study showed that CBD reduced microglial activation in mice, which indicates that it may slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease. In addition to these studies, CBD may help treat agitation and anxiety in those suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD is a condition that can have negative effects on memory and cognitive function. In a recent study, administration of oral CBD in addition to routine psychiatric care was associated with PTSD symptom reduction in adults with PTSD. In fact, 91% of the participants experienced a decrease in the severity of their symptoms. By alleviating symptoms of PTSD, CBD could prove to enhance memory performance.
Age-Related Cognitive Decline
As individuals age, they may experience memory-related challenges. Through its neuroprotective properties, potential to aid in mitigating stress and anxiety, and the potential for hippocampal neurogenesis, CBD may help with maintaining cognitive function in the aging population.
The connection between CBD and memory is a captivating subject of ongoing research. At Kaya Life, we have a skilled team of doctors that are ready to help you with an individualized treatment plan. With Alzheimer’s and dementia on the list of qualifying conditions for those seeking to join the state’s medical cannabis program, we are ready to help you and your loved ones. Book your appointment today.