People familiar with the health effects of consuming Cannabis are well aware of its constituent THC’s negative impact on memory. However, a new study that found its way in the prestigious Journal of Psychiatric Research was conducted on the broader topic. It suggests that CBD, which is also a cannabis component, may counteract it. The study found that participants experienced better verbal episodic memory when they vaped CBD. The placebo participant group, in turn, did not exhibit any such improvements.
THC Negatively Affects Memory
The negative impact of Cannabis with regards to memory is a well-established belief, with both personal accounts of Cannabis consumers and medical studies suggesting the same. Experts opine that the psychoactive THC found in Cannabis is behind these cognitive defects. So, it is very, very interesting that another Cannabis compound actually serves to counteract it and enhance the verbal recalling ability of a person.
CBD Might Boost Verbal Episodic Memory
Academic circles, including study author Janine Hotz and her team, found the promise of an additional line of treatment in mental health conditions with a waning verbal memory interesting. Such symptoms are common in several mental health issues, including PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and dementia. However, the scientific evidence at hand before the study was inconclusive and mixed. Nevertheless, it encouraged Hotz and colleagues to forge new ground with a unique concentrated experimental trial using CBDs and placebos.
A New Study
The Swiss study involved 34 adults in the 18-30 age group. The study was conducted on two nearly identical but date-wise different days. The researchers asked the participants to complete a series of memory tasks. On one of the study days, the participants vaped 12.5 mg of e-liquid with 5% CBD concentration. A perfumed placebo e-liquid took the place of the CBD liquid the other day. While all participants underwent vaping for both days, the consumption of placebo or CBD was random.
The memory tasks learned three sets of unrelated live words before the vaping activity. Then, once twenty minutes had passed after learning the terms, they were asked to recall as many learned words as possible. This constituted a test of verbal episodic memory. Furthers, the subjects also completed back tasks that assessed their attention and memory.
As per the study observations, subjects who consumed CBD were better able to recall the learned words than their placebo-consuming counterparts. The enhanced memory performance was about 10%. Factors like gender, age, mid-term cannabis consumption and depressive symptoms apparently had no bearing on the memory performance results. Interestingly though, working memory and attention remained unaffected by CBD consumption. It suggested that CBD had no impact on these facets of working memory. No side-effect complaints were reported except for a headache by one member of the CBD group and complaints of abdominal pain by a placebo group member.
Another interesting finding of the study was that people with higher BMI (Body Mass Index) had greater levels of memory improvement upon consuming CBD. Therefore, the researchers believe there needs to be a balance between BMI and consumed CBD concentration levels for optimum memory improvement.
The researchers quickly point out that further study on CBD’s effect on consolidation and recollection of memories is needed. In addition, they stressed the need to conduct CBD consumption studies on people with episodic memory shortfalls.