Cannabis is a controversial plant that is typically associated with memory loss. On the other side, it has numerous health benefits such as pain-relief, anti-inflammatory benefits, sleep regulation, etc. But due to lack of research, there are still many things that are unnoticed about it; for example, cannabis improves memory and concentration in some people.
This benefit is highly debated by health experts, some believe it improves the memory while others believe it worsens it. Technically, both things are true.
Human memory is categorized into two forms; short-termed and long-termed. Short termed, as the name indicates caters the events for temporary storage and the long-term memory is permanent storage.
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The medical evidence on cannabis suggests that cannabis intoxication could only be a short-termed or temporary effect suggesting it doesn’t really damage the memory. The bioactive compounds in the cannabis plant bind to the receptors in the brain and affects memory, learning, concentration, and focus. But again, these effects are only for the short term.
Interestingly, there are studies that explain that cannabis may help against the neurodegenerative diseases which damage the cognitive abilities and memory. Examples of such diseases are Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, dementia, and Huntington Chorea.
Using animal models, the researchers are able to identify cannabis compounds that can reduce or even stop the progression of all such diseases. Two of the most talked-about components inside cannabis are delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
Humans have receptors for the cannabinoids inside the brain. Once a person is exposed to cannabis, the THC rapidly binds to the cannabinoid receptor and induces a ‘high’ feeling. But the other bioactive ingredient, cannabidiol or CBD can interfere in this binding thus reducing the psychedelic effect.
Both these compounds are present in different concentrations in different cannabis strains. Any product that contains a high amount of THC or no CBD is more likely to induce a euphoric feeling. It is also associated with initiating cognitive and psychiatric problems. However, the same CBD products can also help to improve these psychiatric conditions.
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It implies that high THC levels are associated with a damaging effect on memory and the brain. But the good news is that these side effects are not permanent. The research evidence suggests that memory-related problems heal on their own once the user stops using the CBD products. These problems mainly appear when the user overdoses cannabis which makes sense as overdosing alcohol also causes similar effects.
It doesn’t seem like there is permanent harm to the memory of a user who is taking cannabis in any form. However, if a person is experimenting, mixing, or using it with other powerful opiates, the risk is high and the side effects may be permanent.
There are still many things that are unknown about the cannabis plant. Probably more detailed researches can provide a clear picture of how can a person safely use CBD for improving memory without abusing it.