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New study suggests that CBD helps memory and decision-making

A new study finds that cannabidiol, also known as CBD, improves blood flow to parts of the brain associated with memory and decision-making.

Highlights of the study:

  • Researchers gave 15 participants with no history of cannabis use 600 mg of CBD on different occasions for a week and then 600 mg of a placebo
  • CBD (cannabidoil) is the main non-psychoactive ingredient in marijuana believed to be responsible therapeutic effects such as pain relief
  • MRI scans showed CBD increased  blood flow to the hippocampus, responsible for memories and the orbitofrontal cortex, responsible for decision-making
  • The team says this could offer therapies for those who suffer conditions that affect memory, such as Alzheimer’s disease 

A new study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology set out to investigate how CBD influences cerebral blood flow in different regions on the brain involved in memory processing.

Just one dose of CBD was shown to improve blood flow to parts of the brain and also increased blood flow to the part of section of the brain responsible for decision-making. ‘These findings could offer better target therapies for those who suffer conditions that affect memory, such as Alzheimer’s disease and post-traumatic stress disorder,’ says the researchers from the University College London (UCL).

Using an MRI brain scanning technique called arterial spin labeling which measures blood oxygen level changes, researchers who conducted the study showed that CBD significantly increased blood flow in the hippocampus and the orbitofrontal cortex, the latter of which plays a role in decision-making.

‘This supports the view that CBD has region-specific blood flow effects in the human brain, which has previously been disputed’ said lead author Dr Michael Bloomfield, a professor of psychiatry at UCL.

Bloomfield also mentions ‘there is evidence that CBD may help reduce symptoms of psychosis and anxiety’ and also this supports some evidence that CBD may improve memory function.

Original research study conducted by UCL.