Pacololo for Kapuna: Do Cannabinoids Help Improve Elders’ Memory?

I don’t know about you, but I have never associated marijuana use with having a good memory!   Back in the day, pot-smokers never seemed to be at the top of the class and nobody ever suggested getting high was a good way to study for finals.   This conventional wisdom was verified by research: marijuana interfered with the memory of young adults.

But, as science improves and knowledge grows, another population is being studied and it seems the impossible can be true!

We have known that our bodies (and the bodies of all mammals)  produce endogenous cannabinoids as neurotransmitters.  Last May, German researcher, Dr Andreas Zimmer, and his team reported in the peer-reviewed international journal, Nature Medicine, that while young mice suffered memory impairment after being administered a low-dose of THC, older mice had a significant improvement in their memory, as demonstrated by their ability to navigate  a variety of mazes. They concluded that cannabinoids can help slow or even prevent age-related cognitive decline in mice, and because humans are physiologically almost identical, in people, too!

Needless to say, this generated a lot of interest and the information was published in a broad scope of periodicals including Nature, Scientific American, and Newsweek.

To be clear, I am not suggesting that we recommend pacololo for our kapuna, or decide to invest time and energy in what is still an illegal substance in Hawaii.  Further, we all know that smoking anything is not healthy.  But, the information is out there so our patients will be asking us, and we need to be informed!

To conduct your own literature search for reliable health information, visit Health on the Net Foundation an international non-profit whose mission is to make reliable health information available to healthcare professionals and their patients.

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