As a next step, the researchers hope to conduct a clinical trial to investigate whether THC also reverses aging processes and improves cognitive ability in the human brain.
The findings by the research team from the University of Bonn and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem were recently published in the journal Nature Medicine, and may pave the way for new treatments for human dementia and other cognitive disorders
The active ingredient in marijuana – tetrahydrocannabinol or THC – was first discovered by a team of researchers from the Hebrew U.’s School of Pharmacy in 1964, with its isolation, structure elucidation and total synthesis reported by organic chemist Prof. Raphael Mechoulam in 1970.
As the brain ages, cognitive ability decreases, making it more difficult to learn new things or multitask.
Although this process is normal, in some cases, it can evolve into dementia.
Researchers have long sought ways to slow or even reverse this process.
Over a period of four weeks, the German-Israeli research team administered a small quantity of THC to mice aged two, 12 and 18 months. Mice normally show pronounce cognitive deficits as early as age one. (A interesting study to follow)