Tuesday 16 September, 2014

Key ingredient dilutes marijuana’s effect on memory

Published On: Sat, Oct 2nd, 2010 | Addiction | By BioNews

Some particular forms of cannabis may contain an ingredient that helps to diminish the drug’s negative effects on memory, a new study has suggested.

The new study has revealed that the strain of cannabis makes all the difference, reports Nature.

In a test of short-term memory skills, only users of ”skunk”-type strains exhibited impaired recall when intoxicated, whereas people who smoked hashish or herbal cannabis blends performed equally well whether they were stoned or sober.

The findings suggest that an ingredient more plentiful in some types of marijuana than in others may help to reduce the memory loss that some users suffer.

The key difference between the types of cannabis is the ratio of two chemicals found in all strains. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the primary active ingredient and the second chemical, cannabidiol.

Valerie Curran of the University College London who led the latest study, said that if habitual users must partake they should be encouraged to use strains with higher levels of cannabidiol, rather than using skunk.

Researchers had been suspecting that any effects of the drug on mental health could be a result of an increased ratio of THC to cannabidiol in cannabis, because levels of cannabidiol have not kept pace with rising THC concentrations.

To test this hypothesis, Curran and her colleagues travelled to the homes of 134 volunteers, where the subjects got high on their own supply before completing a battery of psychological tests designed to measure anxiety, memory recall and other factors such as verbal fluency when both sober and stoned.

The researchers then took a portion of the stash back to their laboratory to test how much THC and cannabidiol it contained.

The subjects were divided into groups of high (samples containing more than 0.75 percent cannabidiol) and low (less than 0.14 percent) cannabidiol exposure, and the data were filtered so that their THC levels were constant.

Analysis showed that participants who had smoked cannabis low in cannabidiol were significantly worse at recalling text than they were when not intoxicated. Those who smoked cannabis high in cannabidiol showed no such impairment.

The results suggested that cannabidiol could mitigate THC’s interference with memory formation.

The findings are published in the British Journal of Psychiatry today,

Displaying 5 Comments
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  1. chuck says:

    This is insane. "Skunk" is a meaningless term when used in this context and provides no information about what kind of marijuana has a lessened impact on memory. "Skunk" was a term used by anti-marijuana legalization lobbyists to indicate (fictionally) a "new" strain of "super-potent" cannabis. The strains sold under the labels "Skunk #1" or other hybrids of those genetics are only a single slice of the hundreds of highly potent medically sought varieties- and NO outlet for marijuana has ANY indicator of the levels of cannabidiol versus tetrahydrocannabinol.

    Hopefully all these will change as the findings of this study are opened to less vapid channels of journalism.

  2. Keith Rolly says:

    I concur with Chuck, can you please tell me which, out of all the medical strains at the moment, you used in your test, that you defined as "Skunk" here were used in this test, as taking those ones as examples, they all have differing cbd / thc values, and then there is the matter of fresh vs dried for various different treatments, not to mention that the "hash" sold in the UK is mostly polluted afghan.

    This study seems pretty unsound, given that the factor here is "got high on their own supply" out of 137 illicit users, in one given area, are only likely to have about five major supply sources between them (given the trickle down effect of illegal narcotics pedaling), and then of varying different types / quality.

    Here in California, all the outlets tell you exactly how much thc or cdb is in your medicine, dry or wet, and specific types are aimed at specific ailments, what to use topically or otherwise.

    Given that the values for the "Key ingredient..' vary wildly from strain to strain, then again in the preparation of said strain into hash, natural buds, shake, tea, edible items, by products oil extraction etc, I find the whole thing to be a bit sketchy.

    & I'm stoned off my ass.

  3. hererjack1 says:

    "NO outlet for marijuana has ANY indicator of the levels of cannabidiol versus tetrahydrocannabinol."

    Harborside in California (a medical marijuana dispensary) tests the levels of CBN and THC in the bud that they sell.

    Also Skunk was a super potent, high THC strain for its time (3 decades ago) and lots of these modern "highly potent medically sought varieties" like we have in California have some skunk in their heritage.

  4. Helioprogenus says:

    The article was purposely vague in which strains had a high content, because they don't exactly want people running out and using the strains they mention. They used the term skunk, for just that reason. Basically, the fact that this research was published at all, means that it was stripped of any possible helpful information to the user. It's unfortunate, that so much drug research is censored because it may actually prove to be beneficial. Thank the pharmaceutical companies, along with a government that's implicit in putting their own tax to product ration ahead of people's health.

  5. Potter says:

    Considering that the two majorly recognized strains have latin names, C. sativa and C. indica, which have been shown to have different cannaboid profiles, this sort of sloppy protocol is unforgivable.

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