Copy of Cannabis found to reverse aging process in 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

Pioneering research by scientists at the University of Bonn and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem has shown that cannabis can reverse the ageing process in the brain. Using mice as test subjects, the researchers were able to regress old animals to the state of two-month-old mice with a prolonged low-dose treatment with a cannabis active ingredient.

The researchers administered a small quantity of THC, the active ingredient in the hemp plant (cannabis), to mice aged two, twelve and 18 months over a period of four weeks. Afterwards, they tested learning capacity and memory performance in the animals - including, for instance, orientation skills and the recognition of other mice. Mice who were only given a placebo displayed natural age-dependent learning and memory losses. In contrast, the cognitive functions of the animals treated with cannabis were just as good as the two-month-old control animals.

The next step is clinical trials in humans. The results of the research have been published in the Nature Medicine journal.