New Harvard Study Confirms Cannabis Makes You Smarter

New Harvard Study Confirms Cannabis Makes You Smarter

For the last few decades, scientists have been trying to find out whether or not cannabis causes harm to long-term brain health. A large amount of the research [1] has been focused on the cannabis use during adolescence and IQ in adulthood. However, it is quite difficult to get a decision on many firm impacts. That cannabis usage will not make you lose intelligence is a proven fact now.[2] But, at this time, the question is “Can cannabis actually make you smarter?” Truly speaking, cannabis can probably improve some areas of life that many people even never think of. But, when we say it can make you smarter, it means it can contribute positive awareness about multiple different areas of life. A study published in Frontiers in Pharmacology conducted by Harvard University, Tufts University, and McLean Hospital, has found that cannabis seems to improve cognition.[3] Let’s see what the study actually says about cannabis making you smarter.

Harvard pilot study finds cannabis improves cognition

A small scale preliminary study was done on 24 participants all of whom were patients with medical cannabis authorizations for ailments, such as anxiety, chronic pain, depression, and sleep. They had been studied more than a 3 month period, but unfortunately, 11 patients only could arrive at the end of the testing period. The patients took part in 2 different cognitive tests, after 3 months treatment with cannabis. One test, called Stroop Color Word Test, was to assess thinking ability by measuring the time it takes for a person to name a color of a printed word which should not match with the written word itself. For example, black.[4] Another test called Trail Making Test performed by the patients that needs them to connect numbered dots. Later, after herbal therapy, the 3 month scores were compared to their main baseline. The study found that the participant-patients were much faster in completing tasks. It was also seen that they did not make any more mistakes than they did before. There were also seen the patients’ self-reported improvements in a variety of symptoms, together with condition-related symptoms, sleep, and overall health.

Patients pick cannabis over opioids

McLean Hospital released a report [5] where Staci Gruber, Ph.D. and Director of the Marijuana Investigations for Neuroscientific Discovery (MIND), [6] affirmed that more or less about 42 percent of patients picked cannabis than prescription opiod painkiller. Gruber is quite excited about this figure. She explains,

“This is significant, particularly for those of us in Massachusetts and other areas of the country where the opioid epidemic is ravaging so many. This preliminary finding certainly warrants deeper and broader investigation.”

There were almost similar results that have been mentioned in different surveys. For example, one with 271 persons responded which was published in February 2017.[7] The study discovered that about 30 percent people who responded preferred cannabis to opioid pain relievers. Some research suggests that patients consider cannabis as a probable option to relieve pain.[8] Gruber still would like to play it safe on the subject until more research is done. She adds,

“As a clinical researcher, I’m not interested in exploring only the good or the bad; I’m only interested in the truth. That’s what our patients and our recreational users have a right to know and a right to expect from us. People are going to use it. It’s up to us to figure out the very best and safest ways in which they can do that.”

Final Thoughts

Till now this preliminary study carries assurance. An experiment performed on mice has revealed optimistic advancement.[9] The Guardian reports that regular doses of THC – tetrahydrocannabinol, the principal ingredient in cannabis are responsible for the “high” that boosted the performance of older mice though THC impaired memory in younger mice.[10] Such findings raised hopes for a treatment improving brain function in elderly people without unavoidably resulting in the high which is quite well-known to recreational weed smokers.[11] The researchers reported in the journal Nature Medicine that they gave a month-long course of daily THC to mice aged two months, one year, and 18 months. Then the mice were tested to observe how fast they learned a water maze, and how rapidly they remembered known things like mice they had met previously. Here the researchers observed the young mice which were treated with THC performed worse in the tests, but the older ones had rapidly improved their cognitive ability. The treated elderly mice showed almost similar mental faculties to non-treated young mice. The scientists write,

“These results reveal a profound, long-lasting improvement of cognitive performance resulting from a low dose of THC treatment in mature and old animals.”

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