Despite the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) still classifying marijuana as a schedule 1 drug (similar to heroin, ecstasy, LSD, and peyote), a new study confirms that the active compound in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), can benefit the elderly — particularly in preventing memory loss. Researchers from Germany studied THC’s effects on the brains of older mice and found that these animals regained mental clarity after being given pot. To be more specific, the scientists found that the neural connections within the hippocampus, which is responsible for memory and emotions, were firing at a rate comparable to younger adults. These findings, if proven similar among humans, could signal better and more affordable treatment options for adults suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

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