Cannabidiol (CBD) has the ability to improve short-term verbal memory, according to a new study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research.
Authors of the study say the findings suggest CBD might prove useful in treating memory impairments present in various psychiatric disorders and neurodegenerative disorders.
It also brings to light the question of whether CBD can be effective at reducing short-term memory problems caused by THC, the main psychotropic cannabinoid in cannabis.
Conducted in Switzerland, the study saw 34 healthy adults asked to complete a number of memory tests on two separate study days. On one of the days, however, subjects vaped 12.5 mg of 5% CBD e-liquid, and on the other day, they vaped a perfumed placebo e-liquid. They did not know if they would receive the CBD or placebo first.
The tests required participants to memorise a series of unrelated words before vaping either the CBD or placebo for 15 minutes before being asked to recall as many of the words as they could.
Participants’ performances were also assessed on an n-back task, which tests working memory and attention.
The results showed that when participants vaped CBD, they performed an average of 10% better on the word recall task compared to placebo.
There were no differences on the n-back test, which suggests CBD did not affect either attention or working memory.
Interestingly, the body mass index (BMI) of a participant did alter CBD’s effect on memory. Those with a higher BMI saw greater memory improvement with CBD.
The authors speculate this may be because the relationship between CBD dose and effect on memory may follow an inverted-U-shape curve rather than a linear relationship, meaning too low or too high a dose of CBD has little effect on memory, but a medium dose does. This is also seen in CBD’s effect on anxiety, as this study found.
Concluding their findings, the study authors say “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.”
The study, “Cannabidiol enhances verbal episodic memory in healthy young participants: A randomized clinical trial”, was authored by Janine Hotz, Bernhard Fehlmann, Andreas Papassotiropoulos, Dominique JF. de Quervain, and Nathalie S. Schicktanz.
Does CBD reduce the high of THC?
Personally, I’ve found that adding CBD to my THC does change the effects of THC. But I wouldn’t say it reduces the high. I’m definitely just as high, I just find the negative effects of THC are reduced. Effects like anxiety, paranoia, increased heart rate, racing thoughts, and loss of short-term memory.
The desirable effects of THC – things like euphoria, increased curiosity, and heightened senses – are all still there. And I can actually enjoy them because my heart isn’t beating through my chest and I’m not second-guessing every move I make.
Even when I use as little as 20% CBD flower to 80% THC flower in my joints, bowls or vape, I find the CBD does balance out the THC, so to speak.
Additionally, when we look at all available clinical data, we find that there is very little evidence that CBD reduces the subjective high caused by THC.
Other reasons to add CBD to THC
Scientists working out of King’s College of London published a study in 2018 that shows CBD has antipsychotic properties and can negate the negative effects of THC.
The findings confirm previous studies that show CBD has potent antipsychotic properties and the power to reduce THC-induced anxiety and paranoia. This suggests that using CBD alongside THC may help protect the individual’s mental health.
If you suffer from weed anxiety, paranoia, or other such mental issues when consuming cannabis, consider giving CBD a try. It could help you to handle your highs and get the most out of this incredible plant.