Cannabis and memory loss: dude, where's my CBD?
It isn’t often that science and pop culture overlap, but the two fields are in agreement when it comes to the familiar trope of the forgetful stoner.
A recent study published in Schizophrenia Bulletin is the latest to reveal the detrimental effects that cannabis can have on memory. The authors report that people dependent on the drug – both healthy individuals and patients with schizophrenia – show impairments in memory compared with healthy volunteers and non-smoking schizophrenia patients.
Even more striking, the cannabis-using groups had significant decreases in the volume of two brain areas that are important for processing rewards, learning and working memory – the thalamus and striatum – and these changes were linked to their memory problems. There was no evidence to connect cannabis use and schizophrenia – the authors simply compare the two groups. However, previous studies have found a higher prevalence of psychosis among regular cannabis smokers.
Reports of memory loss with long-term cannabis use are nothing new, and an influential paper published last year provided evidence that smoking marijuana has a deleterious effect on intelligence. In the investigation, the cognitive abilities of participants were tested several times over the course of 25 years. The researchers found that heavy cannabis users had significant decreases in intelligence and memory ability as they aged, not only compared with non-smokers, but also compared with their younger selves. Additionally, the earlier they started smoking pot, the bigger the cognitive decline.
Obviously these findings are worrying, especially given the recent spate of cannabis legalisations in states across the US and in countries such as Uruguay. However, before we all start worrying about the good people of Colorado and Washington, it might be helpful to look closer at what’s actually in the cannabis we’re smoking nowadays, and what ingredients are contributing to these cognitive deficits.
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis and is what causes the subjective “high”. This includes changes in perceptual sensations, a feeling of contentedness and increased appetite. However, THC is also linked to many of the potential negative consequences of cannabis use, such as dependence, psychotic symptoms, and impaired memory and cognition.
Another important component, CBD (cannabidiol, which works by increasing natural cannabinoid levels in the brain) is associated with the calming, anti-anxiety effects of the drug. In addition, CBD is thought to protect against many of the potential negative effects of marijuana, including dependence, psychotic symptoms and cognitive impairments.
The THC concentration in cannabis has increased by as much as 12% over the past 30 years, making the drug much stronger than it used to be. At the same time, there has been a significant depletion of CBD, sometimes to levels as low as 0.1%. “Skunk”, as this new strain of high-THC/low-CBD marijuana is called, is flooding the illegal marijuana market, and it is this variety that is thought to be behind the rise in cannabis dependence diagnoses, links to schizophrenia, and cognitive deficits seen over the past decade.
The changing chemical make-up of cannabis appears to be partly accidental and partly deliberate. New strains are often bred to have higher levels of THC in them, increasing the drug’s potency. However, modern growing techniques have also affected these chemical levels. For example, illegal growers have turned to indoor marijuana farms to avoid detection. Growing cannabis locally in such farms also circumvents the need to import the drug, and guarantees a more reliable harvest. However, the 24-hour lighting used in these farms inadvertently reduces CBD levels in the plant. Thus, these new strains are not only bred for higher potency, with elevated THC content, they are also lacking the protection provided by CBD against the drug’s negative effects.
It should be noted that the majority of research into cognitive deficits and cannabis use has focused on heavy or dependent users, and there’s little evidence that occasional smokers show any of the problems mentioned above. But with the recent changes in drug policy, the chances are that more people will be smoking cannabis than ever before, and the more potent and more popular high-THC/low-CBD marijuana that is available today will increase their risk of dependence.
The recent legalisation of recreational and medicinal marijuana in parts of the US has the potential to reduce significantly the harms caused through incarceration or criminal records for minor drug-related offences. However, it also provides an opportunity to reduce the cognitive and psychiatric harms linked to cannabis use. With this shift in drug policy, it is now possible for states to monitor the commercial production of cannabis, regulating the levels of THC and CBD present in the drug. To facilitate this, they could force growers to use strains with higher levels of CBD, and revert to more old-fashioned farming methods that don’t use round-the-clock lighting.
These changes could help protect individuals from the damaging effects of the drug, prevent the development of dependence in new users, and maybe even help our favorite Hollywood stoners remember where they left their car.
Does CBD Affect Memory Function?
Recent studies show that a single dose of CBD can have a multitude of benefits for the user.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is known to help reduce symptoms associated with muscle and joint swelling, ease skin irritations, aid in disrupted sleep cycles, relieve tension, and support mental health.
Along with all of these incredible effects, using CBD will not enact a psychotropic effect on the body and mind like another cannabinoid derived from the Cannabis sativa plant, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Both THC and CBD interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which helps regulate balance throughout the body’s multiple systems.
While THC can have the reputation of causing memory loss, recent studies have shown that CBD might have the opposite effect. It is a non-intoxicating substance that can improve memory retention consolidation.
THC and CBD share the same molecular formula makeup, which is 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and two oxygen atoms. Their molecular mass is nearly identical as well, but CBD and THC differ in their molecular formation.
CBD cannot be psychoactive because of how it is built. The molecular structure will not allow it to bind with the endocannabinoid system’s CB1 receptors the way THC does.
CBD And Improved Memory Function
CBD is a chemical compound that is derived from the cannabis plant. It hosts many practical medical and therapeutic health benefits without THC’s adverse effects, like feeling “high” or anxious.
A 2016 study found sufficient evidence that CBD can help remove dementia and consequently increase the connection between brain cells. These results have been validated by research from additional laboratories.
CBD improves memory function for those struggling with memory retaining in several fundamental ways. Using CBD relieves the user from feelings of stress, tension, and discomfort from physical movement.
For someone living with certain health conditions, CBD will help ease the symptoms of stress and tension, improve motor functions, and reduce memory decline.
The calming properties of CBD suppress agitation, allowing the user to calmly focus on the tasks at hand. This can help the brain recall memories because it takes away the stress associated with the struggle to remember.
Using CBD relieves symptoms that are associated with memory disturbances. When the brain’s immune cells fail to clear dead brain cells, blockages in neural pathways occur. The more swelling there is, the more significant the impact will be.
Memory function capabilities decrease as more oxygen is released inside of the brain. CBD is an antioxidant, which helps reduce problems associated with oxygen stress. By utilizing CBD, brain functions that are negatively impacted by increased oxygen levels in the brain can be improved.
Terpenes are compounds found in nature, in particular plants, that are responsible for their fragrance, taste, and medical properties.
Limonene terpenes, which are terpenes derived from citrus fruit, are the second most widely distributed terpenoid found in nature. These terpenes are bio-identical to CBD that is from a cannabis or hemp plant.
Limonene terpenes that are transformed into essential oils have been utilized as a holistic remedy for centuries. Regular usage can improve the quality of life in many different ways, especially for those struggling with memory function.
Scientific clinical studies suggest that citrus oil, due to the limonene terpenes, has soothing effects on the body and mind that are comparable to the impact of CBD derived from cannabis or hemp. It is a very safe ingestible substance that is also shown to soothe the gastrointestinal process for improved digestion.
Citrus oil also has been shown to have a calming effect on the mind, allowing for relaxation and improved focus. This will overall help with maintaining healthy memory function.
Scents trigger the olfactory system, which controls the body’s sense of smell. The olfactory sensors then trigger the emotional and memory centers of the brain. This is why smell is so closely related to memory and nostalgia.
Just breathing in limonene terpenes in a citrus essential oil can enact a calming response throughout the entire body.
Peels CBD Oil
Using CBD has been shown to improve cognitive facial recognition skills when administered alone, without any THC compounds or impurities added. The addition of hemp, THC, pesticides, heavy metals, and mycotoxins are all too commonly present in CBD products that are derived from the cannabis plant.
These additions can detrimentally alter sought-after results regarding using CBD to aid memory function. That is why it is vital to do your research and choose a product that is as healthy and clean of impurities as possible.
Peels CBD Oil is made from terpenes found in orange peels. It is a natural substance that is absolutely guaranteed to be the purest and safest CBD oil on today’s market.
Peels CBD is known as nature-identical , which means it is the same as CBD found in a cannabis or hemp plant. Due to its origin being orange peels, there is zero hemp or THC content in its formula.
This pure tincture will allow for optimal benefits for the user that additional and detracting ingredients and compounds will not muddle.
Peels CBD is odorless and tasteless in its raw form. I n addition to organic medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) oil (from coconut), our tinctures have a distinctive citrus flavor and aroma due to our organic, natural citrus flavor. There is no hemp or cannabis-related smell or taste because our CBD is not derived from either of those sources.
Just like CBD derived from the cannabis plant, both kinds describe a cannabinoid made through synthesis, which is chemically and molecularly identical to the same cannabinoid found in nature.
Our process of taking CBD from natural inputs guarantees zero THC and hemp content in our products. Everything that goes into the process is found in nature, and everything that comes out of our process is found in nature.
Peels CBD Oil comes in tincture form, which is a concentrated herbal extract. Simply place a dropper full of CBD under your tongue, release your preferred dosage, and then hold it under the tongue for 30-60 seconds before consumption. This will speed up the absorption time in the body.
There is also the option of adding your CBD drops into your coffee, breakfast, or morning smoothie. With sublingual administration, CBD can begin to release its effects after only 30 minutes.
When consumed with food or drink, they will take the same amount of time as ingesting an edible. Since CBD is a fat-soluble compound, taking CBD with a high-fat meal will increase the absorption rate.
CBD And Daily Life
CBD emits benefits that soothe the body and calms the mind. Regular CBD use supports full-body wellness.
Physically, CBD has been known to soothe joint discomfort and muscle tension temporarily. This is especially wonderful if you are an athlete or prone to recurring aches.
Mentally, CBD brings peace and calm to the stress hormones in the body, allowing you to think clearer and focus on your tasks at hand. It relieves the stress response in the body and creates a literal inner sense of balance, or homeostasis, within.
CBD is also used to help get a good night’s rest. While smaller doses of CBD are used as wakefulness and focusing agents, a slightly larger dose has been shown to have sedative effects.
As the brain works on memory processing and storage while you sleep, quality slumber is essential to the brain’s optimal memory function. By falling asleep and staying asleep, you are setting your brain up for success for its memory comprehension and storage systems.
CBD supports sleep by removing discomfort in the mind and body, creating a relaxed sense of peacefulness. It eases tension in the head, neck, and achy muscles or joints.
Emotionally and mentally, CBD will soothe any feelings of stress that might keep you up at night.
While there is still so much research that needs to be conducted regarding the relationship between CBD and memory, scientific studies support the findings that CBD increases region-specific blood flow in the brain, something that had previously been disputed.
By increasing blood flow to specific areas of the brain, those brain systems will be able to function quickly and efficiently.
Since CBD is safe and generally well tolerated with minimal side effects, it is an excellent option for those looking for a holistic and natural treatment.
The nature of CBD is complex, and so much is still yet to be discovered. However, these scientific findings can advance further research in a range of medical conditions characterized by how the brain processes memory and function.