University of Bonn Scientists: ‘Low-Dose THC from Cannabis Reverses the Aging Process in the Brain’

Prof. Dr. Andreas Zimmer (left) and the North Rhine-Westphalia science minister Svenja Schulze (center) are in the lab of the Institute of Molecular Psychiatry at University of Bonn. Credit: © Volker Lannert/Uni Bonn

Research has proven that medical cannabis has a positive effect in the prevention and treatment of cancer, as well as having a clear benefit for seizure patients, and many other health benefits. And now we can add anti-aging.

The benefits of cannabis on the human brain are still being outlined by medical research, and in a recent study, scientists at the University of Bonn concluded that it can help reverse the aging process in the brain.

Commenting on the study, Dr. Rhonda Patrick, who has ‘extensive research experience in the fields of aging, cancer, nutrition.’ Her research and work are largely devoted to nutrition rather than the study of cannabis specifically, offering an impartial look at the health benefits of cannabis.

“Low dose THC from cannabis reverses the aging process in the brain. 12-and 18-month old mice that were given a low dose of THC daily for 4 weeks performed as well as 2-month old control mice on learning and memory tests. The THC treatment completely reversed the loss of performance in the old animals.

“The mechanism is still unclear. Other studies have found that THC helps clear away amyloid beta plaques from the brain. Additionally, cannabinoids bind to specific receptors called cannabinoid receptors in neurons as well as on immune cells. It is possible that there are multiple mechanisms at play.” [Source]

The study examined the effects of THC on certain mice, noting that aging mice saw a return the brain function of their much younger counterparts:

“This was shown in mice by scientists at the University of Bonn with their colleagues at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel). Old animals were able to regress to the state of two-month-old mice with a prolonged low-dose treatment with a cannabis active ingredient.” [Source]

Speaking to the significance of this finding, Eureka Alert makes the following comment:

“Like any other organ, our brain ages. As a result, cognitive ability also decreases with increasing age. This can be noticed, for instance, in that it becomes more difficult to learn new things or devote attention to several things at the same time. This process is normal, but can also promote dementia. Researchers have long been looking for ways to slow down or even reverse this process.” [Source]

Regarding the outcome of this study, Professor Andreas Zimmer from the Institute of Molecular Psychiatry at the University of Bonn remarked that “the treatment completely reversed the loss of performance in the old animals.” And while there is certainly a gap to bridge between mice and humans, the study offers promise in the future development of dementia treatments, a discovery that some in this field find rather exciting.

“The promotion of knowledge-led research is indispensable, as it is the breeding ground for all matters relating to application. Although there is a long path from mice to humans, I feel extremely positive about the prospect that THC could be used to treat dementia, for instance.” ~Svenja Schulze, Science Minister at The North Rhine-Westphalia

Final Thoughts

Any new research into this natural, non-chemical, and easy to grow plant medicine ultimately contributes to the case against the U.S. DEA’s classification of cannabis as a schedule I drug. The politics of the destructive war on drugs are deeply out of date, as this study and so many more have demonstrated in recent years.

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