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Does CBD make you smarter?

Can CBD Make You Smarter?

Can CBD make you smarter? Does it improve your memory and motor skills? These questions were addressed in 2010 when an international team of scientists from Germany, Switzerland, and Mexico tested the effects of both THC and CBD oils on lab mice.

The brain is the most complex organ in our bodies. It is made up of billions of interconnecting neurons. The process of generating new neurons (neurogenesis) throughout life has been shown to play a role in ongoing learning and memory, while impairment of neurogenesis results in disorders such as dementia, epilepsy, and schizophrenia.

The process of creating new neurons in response to new stimuli (aka, learning) is called brain plasticity. Studies suggest that the endocannabinoid system, upon which cannabinoids such as THC and CBD act, plays an important role in plasticity and neurogenesis.

In the aforementioned study, mice were given food supplemented with THC-rich or CBD-rich extracts. After 6 weeks of treatment, their memory was tested. Researchers found substantial differences between THC and CBD treatment. While the CBD mice showed improvement in both motor skills and memory, the mice that received THC showed impaired memory and motor function.

The final report was titled “Cannabinoid receptor CB1 mediates baseline and activity-induced survival of new neurons in adult hippocampal neurogenesis.” Researchers concluded that "THC and CBD differed in their effects on spatial learning and adult neurogenesis. CBD did not impair learning but increased adult neurogenesis, whereas THC reduced learning without affecting adult neurogenesis."

The report also pointed out that in addition to improving memory and motor skills, CBD has also been shown to have neuroprotective effects, which have been linked to its antioxidant abilities. 

These results suggest that, because of the psychotropic effects of THC and its role in the impairment of memory and motor skills, its clinical use may be limited, while CBD, on the other hand, is a highly promising candidate for therapeutic applications related to mental abilities and brain function.

You can read the entire study here.