Our memory is something we often take for granted, but as we age, the importance of cherished memories and precious moments increases more and more. Even if you forget your car keys from time to time, chances are you’ll still be able to remember who you went to school with over thirty years ago. The problem is that things are not always like this.
The mind is a fascinating entity with the ability to encode, store, and retrieve infinite amounts of data. However, when this ability is diminished, there can be devastating consequences: memory loss is a disease that affects people indiscriminately and often without warning.
Understand memory loss
Some memory problems are easier to diagnose and treat than others. Emotional and physical trauma, substance abuse, even lack of sleep, are relatively easy to identify and treat. However, diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia symptoms have much more serious consequences, both in the person diagnosed and in the people around them.
In either case, a person’s ability to remember or memorize events, things, and details is affected. Unfortunately, as we age, cells lose their ability to function as efficiently as they should, and the rate of regeneration becomes much slower. We can feel the effect throughout our entire body, but the effects are most noticeable when the way we think and feel starts to change. Changes don’t happen suddenly, but over time you find that you forget little things more easily, like where you left your car keys or things on your shopping list. In severe circumstances, repeated or prolonged memory loss may be diagnosed as dementia, a general term for a decline in mental ability.
Alzheimer’s disease, a for now incurable brain disorder, is the most common type of dementia. This disease causes a loss in the connections between the neurons of our brain. Without neurons to transmit signals to parts of our brain that help us move or store information, physical and mental functionality begins to deteriorate. Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s cases are increasing, and this has led researchers to look for all possible ways to reduce the progression of symptoms.
The effect of CBD on memory loss
Forgetting where you left your wallet, while not life-threatening, can ruin your day. In this situation, the effect of forgetting is negligible, but not all memory problems are so easy to overcome. Fortunately, CBD is a compound that is getting a lot of scrutiny for its potential ability to “reverse” the breakdown of neurons that contributes to memory loss.
In an “in vivo” (within a living organism) analysis, researchers discovered “proof of principle” regarding the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and CBD. Through a set of animal models for Alzheimer’s, they looked at the effects of CBD combined with therapies using THC, to see what effect both compounds had on neurogenesis. Neurogenesis is a biological process responsible for producing new neurons. Considering that the promotion of neurogenesis is essential to improve our brain function, the results of the analysis could be beneficial for anyone with a cognitive disorder, however mild.
The analysis concluded that “CBD also reverses and prevents the development of cognitive deficits,” adding that CBD also demonstrated its ability to “reduce gliosis and the neuroinflammatory response.”
Although the results were favourable, the authors quickly recognized the need for more comprehensive testing. They recommended further studies to identify the correct dose of CBD and the difference in results between men and women.
The future of CBD and memory-related diseases
The studies that supported the analysis noted above were collectively good news, not just for people with Alzheimer’s or dementia, but also for anyone struggling with memory loss. Encouragingly, additional studies have been done identifying the efficacy of CBD as a neuroprotective agent. According to the results, CBD is not only capable of stimulating the growth of new neurons, but it can also protect existing ones against harmful substances, such as alcohol.
Regardless of the circumstances, memory loss is an incredibly difficult symptom to treat. Whether it is the result of a serious illness, or recent physical or emotional trauma, CBD could be a treatment possibility for patients in the future. Studies show its ability to repair and protect vital pathways in our brain, and the effect could be revolutionary in people’s quality of life.