In a stunning revelation the Guardian has reported that ‘black drug’ cannabis may in fact have an undetected virtuous side to it. Quoting a group of German scientists, it said that ‘Cannabis use dramatically improves memory capacity in older brains.’
In the German study, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), when administered in small doses produced “profound, long-lasting improvement in cognitive performance.” The study implies that controlled use of the drug could ward off degenerative conditions like dementia for five to ten years. This is exactly the opposite of the effect cannabis has on younger brains.
If clinical trials on humans later this year validate these findings based on mice experiments, then we may soon have a drug that enhances the performance of ageing brains without producing the behavioural effects well known to recreational users of the drug. Writing in the journal Nature Medicine, the scientists reported how young mice on a month-long course of THC suffered from a dramatic decrease in their cognitive abilities while their much older mates showed exactly the opposite effect. Without the drug, the younger mice topped a series of specially designed cerebral tests, while the older ones struggled. However, following the infusion of THC the performance of the younger mice declined dramatically and that of the older mice surged to the levels of healthy drug-free young mice.