August 2020. Researchers at University College London have reported in healthy people high dose CBD increases blood flow to the memory area of the brain. The article was entitled – The effects of acute cannabidiol on cerebral blood flow and its relationship to memory: An arterial spin labelling magnetic resonance imaging study.
Here they reported on 15 healthy subjects who were found to have increased blood flow to the hippocampus (the memory section of the brain) after taking 600 mgs of CBD. The researchers reported the increased flow may explain some of the observed benefits of CBD for reducing anxiety and easing dementia symptoms. If the study is replicated, other possible benefits may include:
- CBD increases blood flow in the hippocampus may be relevant for hippocampal disorders, since higher resting hippocampal blood flow is associated with better memory performance
- With its key role in learning and memory, the hippocampus is an important therapeutic target across multiple neuropsychiatric disorders including schizophrenia, depression, PTSD and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Regional CBF is strongly associated with brain volume change. CBD may increase hippocampal size and prevent hippocampal structural atrophy (shrinkage) and hippocampal-dependent memory impairments associated with these disorders. This finding may be particularly relevant to Alzheimer’s disease, where there are defects in blood flow control.
Although, the researchers noted more research is needed, there is now evidence that acute CBD causes a significant increase in regional CBF to the hippocampus. These findings may have implications for the potential use of CBD across a range of disorders associated with hippocampal dysfunction including Alzheimer’s disease, PTSD and depression.