The results may have implications for the treatment of episodic memory deficits, which are not only hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease, but are also prevalent in many psychiatric disorders.
Cannabidiol (CBD) may be capable of improving episodic memory and verbal recall, possibly providing important therapeutic treatment, according to a study undertaken at the University of Basel, Switzerland.
The study’s lead author, Janine Hotz with Division of Cognitive Neuroscience, and her colleagues say such findings are particularly interesting because they suggest a potential treatment option for psychiatric conditions affected by deteriorated verbal memory.
“The results are in line with the idea that vaping cannabidiol interacts with the central endocannabinoid system and is capable to modulate memory processes, a phenomenon with possible therapeutic potential.”
Treatment For Memory Decline?
“The results may have implications for the treatment of episodic memory deficits, which are not only hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease, but are also prevalent in many psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia, bipolar disorders or posttraumatic stress disorders,” according to the study.
Study Design And Participants
The double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, crossover trial comparing the effect of vaping cannabidiol (CBD) e-liquid (0.25 ml, 5% CBD, 12.5 mg CBD) with vaping a placebo e-liquid was performed at the University of Basel with 34 healthy Swiss adults between the ages of 18 and 30.
“The present study revealed an average increase of recalled words 20 minutes after vaping CBD compared to placebo condition by 10%. Importantly, we did not detect medication effects on attention or working memory performance, suggesting that CBD has no negative impact on these basic cognitive functions,” wrote Dr. Hotz, also a member of the Faculty of Psychology.
“The effect of CBD on episodic memory was independent of age, sex, depressive symptoms, frequency of cannabis consumption in a year, and the ratings after vaping (relaxation, tiredness, motivation, mood, tolerance).”
Hotz pointed out that BMI also seemed to play a role.
“The interaction between BMI and drug suggests that the dose for subjects with lower BMI might have been too high to increase memory.”
“To conclude, while further research is needed to identify dose-response and time-response relationships, our results show that CBD can improve episodic memory, a drug effect with possible therapeutic potential,” wrote Hotz in the paper that was published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research.