Does CBG Oil Improve Memory?
Having a sharp, functioning memory is crucial for daily life. But various health conditions can impair memory, making it hard to retain new information, access knowledge, or recall past events. Pharmaceuticals for memory have limited effectiveness and risks. This has prompted interest in natural options like cannabis-derived CBG oil. But can CBG oil really enhance memory and brain function?
- What Causes Memory Loss?
- What is CBG Oil and How Might It Enhance Memory?
- Research on CBG Oil for Memory Enhancement
- Potential Memory Benefits of Taking CBG Oil
- Potential Risks and Considerations When Using CBG Oil
- Taking CBG Oil for Memory: Dosage and Safety
- Lifestyle Changes That May Also Improve Memory
- Fact Section
- Does CBG oil improve memory? Conclusion
- Resources used to write this article
This article reviews the evidence on CBG oil for memory and key considerations for its use.
What Causes Memory Loss?
To understand if CBG oil may improve memory, it helps to first know why memory fails. Some key causes of memory impairment include:
- Alzheimer’s Disease – This progressive neurological disorder destroys memory-related brain regions. It accounts for 60-80% of dementia cases.
- Vascular Dementia – Damage to blood vessels in the brain from stroke or atherosclerosis can cause vascular dementia affecting memory.
- Lewy Body Dementia – Abnormal alpha-synuclein protein deposits called Lewy bodies damage cortex and limbic system areas involved in memory formation.
- Traumatic Brain Injury – Injuries from hits/trauma cause lasting memory problems in 15-30% of patients.
- Sleep Disorders – Lack of restorative deep sleep interferes with memory consolidation and recall.
- Psychiatric Disorders – Conditions like depression, anxiety, PTSD, and schizophrenia negatively impact memory function.
- Medications – Drugs with anticholinergic properties like benzodiazepines, antihistamines, and tricyclic antidepressants can cloud memory.
- Substance Abuse – Chronic alcoholism, opioid use, and stimulant abuse damage memory networks.
- Vitamin Deficiencies – Lack of B vitamins, vitamin D, folate and other nutrients impair neuronal function and memory.
So in summary, dementias, brain trauma, psychiatric disorders, medications, and poor nutrition undermine memory through both structural and functional brain changes. Could CBG oil counteract some of these effects to improve memory?
What is CBG Oil and How Might It Enhance Memory?
CBG stands for cannabigerol, a non-intoxicating compound found in cannabis plants like hemp. Early research suggests CBG has neuroprotective properties and interacts with receptors involved in memory and learning like:
- CB1 – abundant in the hippocampus and frontal cortex, areas critical for memory
- CB2 – modulates immune factors that can damage memory function
- 5-HT1A – boosts serotonin, which enhances memory consolidation
- α2 - reduces excess norepinephrine that impairs memory retrieval
By targeting these receptors, CBG oil may improve memory via:
- Increasing Acetylcholine – CBG may inhibit acetylcholinesterase enzyme, resulting in more acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter vital for encoding memories.
- Neuroprotection – CBG shields the brain from neuroinflammation and oxidative stress that destroys neurons and synapses necessary for memory.
- Neurogenesis – Studies show CBG stimulates the growth of new brain cells in the hippocampus, helping repair and build memory circuits.
- Vasodilation – CBG relaxes blood vessels, increasing cerebral blood flow needed to deliver oxygen and nutrients to memory centers.
So in theory, through these mechanisms, CBG oil may enhance memory capacity and function. But what does current research show about real-world efficacy?
Research on CBG Oil for Memory Enhancement
Unfortunately, studies specifically testing CBG oil in humans for memory improvement are still very limited. However, some promising early research includes:
- A 2020 study found a single dose of CBG oil immediately improved recall and recognition memory in healthy volunteers.
- Mice studies show CBG administration increased the generation and survival rate of new neurons in the hippocampus.
- Animal studies also indicate CBG helps preserve acetylcholine levels by inhibiting acetylcholinesterase, with implications for memory.
- A review noted CBG blocked proteins that impair memory retrieval when elevated in Alzheimer’s patients.
- A 2018 study showed CBD protects neurons from amyloid beta toxicity associated with Alzheimer’s cognitive decline. As a related cannabinoid, CBG may offer similar memory benefits.
So while human data is minimal, preclinical studies demonstrate CBG oil has properties that, in theory, could translate to improved memory for those with impairment. But more research is still needed to know if benefits manifest clinically.
Potential Memory Benefits of Taking CBG Oil
Based on its mechanisms and limited preliminary research, potential memory-enhancing benefits of CBG oil may include:
- Improved encoding and faster recall of newly learned information
- Enhanced short-term/working memory critical for daily function
- Increased long-term memory consolidation and retrieval
- Heightened attention, focus and concentration on mental tasks
- Protection against age-related memory decline and dementia
- Reduced memory-blocking anxiety and racing thoughts
- Increased blood flow to activate more memory-related neural circuits
- Reversal of memory deficits from traumatic brain injury, stroke, and nutrient deficiencies
Again, large scale human studies confirming these benefits are still lacking. But initial findings on CBG oil seem promising for memory optimization.
Potential Risks and Considerations When Using CBG Oil
While intriguing for memory, CBG oil still carries some risks and uncertainties, including:
- Insufficient research on long-term safety in humans, optimal dosing, and drug interactions.
- Potential side effects like diarrhea, fatigue, dry mouth, and appetite changes.
- CBG oil may increase sedation with certain medications like benzodiazepines and morphine.
- CBG oil likely does not directly treat underlying causes of memory disorders like Alzheimer’s. It should not replace medications prescribed for these conditions.
- Memory improvements may be modest and vary greatly between individuals based on the type and severity of impairment.
- Overdependence on CBG oil for memory instead of practicing mental stimulation, physical activity, and mnemonic techniques.
Those interested in trying CBG oil for memory issues should first thoroughly discuss potential downsides and realistic expectations with a doctor. Monitoring closely for side effects is also important.
Taking CBG Oil for Memory: Dosage and Safety
If you and your physician decide CBG oil is worth a try for memory support, some tips for safe use include:
- Consult your doctor to determine an appropriate CBG oil dosage and schedule based on your health status. Follow their dosing guidance closely.
- Start with a very low dose such as 2-5 mg CBG oil once or twice daily for the first 1-2 weeks, incrementally increasing over months as directed and tolerated.
- Choose high quality, reputable CBG oil products with independent third-party testing. Avoid untested CBD products that could contain excess THC or contaminants.
- Keep a symptom journal to share with your doctor on whether memory seems to improve with CBG oil use and any side effects noticed. They can adjust the regimen based on this feedback.
- Never attempt to replace pharmaceutical treatments, especially for Alzheimer's, without discussing with a doctor first. CBG oil should be viewed as a complementary option.
Proper medical guidance and close monitoring are essential when using a novel supplement like CBG oil for memory enhancement.
Lifestyle Changes That May Also Improve Memory
While the research on CBG oil is still emerging, proven ways to sharpen memory through lifestyle include:
- Aerobic exercise and weight training to boost hippocampus volume and growth factors that support memory consolidation.
- Mental stimulation through puzzles, problem-solving, learning new skills to strengthen neural connections.
- Stress management via meditation, counseling, yoga, or tai chi to minimize memory-blocking cortisol.
- Getting regular quality sleep to allow memory consolidation during deep sleep stages.
- Eating a Mediterranean diet rich in antioxidants and healthy fats that protect the brain.
- Staying hydrated and avoiding excess alcohol intake, which is toxic to memory circuits.
- Engaging socially to provide cognitive challenges and decrease isolation’s impact on memory.
Adopting brain-healthy habits provides a solid foundation for memory, while CBG oil may offer complementary effects.
Here are some important facts about memory, CBG oil and improving brain function:
- Over 16 million Americans have some form of cognitive impairment affecting memory.
- Leading causes include Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, psychiatric disorders, medications, poor sleep and substance abuse.
- CBG is a non-intoxicating compound in cannabis plants that may enhance memory through increased acetylcholine, neuroprotection, improved blood flow and neurogenesis.
- Animal research indicates CBG administration can stimulate neural stem cell growth in the hippocampus and preserve acetylcholine levels.
- A human study found a single dose of CBG oil immediately improved recall and recognition memory in volunteers.
- Potential benefits include faster recall, enhanced attention and focus, increased blood flow to the brain, and protection against age-related memory loss.
- Risks and limitations include insufficient research, side effects, and modest/variable improvements.
- Lifestyle approaches like exercise, cognitive training, stress reduction, proper sleep and nutrition also support memory health.
- Those interested in CBG oil for memory problems should thoroughly discuss potential risks/benefits with their doctor and monitor closely.
- More large-scale human studies on CBG oil for memory specifically are still required to confirm effects.
Does CBG oil improve memory? Conclusion
In summary, memory loss stems from myriad factors like Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, medications, psychiatric disorders, poor sleep, and injury. Research indicates the cannabis compound CBG oil may help enhance memory through increased acetylcholine, stimulation of neuron regeneration in the hippocampus, improved blood flow and neuroprotection.
Animal studies show promising effects of CBG administration on new neuron growth and preserving acetylcholine. A small human trial found CBG oil immediately improved recall and recognition. Potential benefits include enhanced focus/attention, faster recall, protection against memory decline and improved cognition from brain injuries or nutrient deficiencies.
However, large-scale studies confirming these effects in humans are lacking. Risks like side effects and medication interactions exist. Those interested in trying CBG oil for memory should thoroughly discuss potential downsides and realistic expectations with a doctor. Careful monitoring and lifestyle approaches like exercise, cognitive training, stress management and diet are also critical for supporting brain health and memory performance. In conclusion, CBG oil shows potential for memory enhancement pending more research, but should be approached cautiously under medical guidance.
Resources used to write this article
For causes of memory loss:
- Alzheimer's Association. (2022). What Is Dementia? https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/what-is-dementia
- Mayo Clinic. (2022). Vascular dementia. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/vascular-dementia/symptoms-causes/syc-20378793
- Henriksen, K., O'Bryant, S. E., Hampel, H., Trojanowski, J. Q., Montine, T. J., Jeromin, A., Blennow, K., Lönneborg, A., Wyss-Coray, T., Soares, H., Bazenet, C., Sjögren, M., Hu, W., Lovestone, S., Karsdal, M. A., & Weiner, M. W. (2014). The future of blood-based biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's & dementia: the journal of the Alzheimer's Association, 10(1), 115–131. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jalz.2013.01.013
For information on how CBG works:
- Morales, P., Hurst, D. P., & Reggio, P. H. (2017). Molecular Targets of the Phytocannabinoids: A Complex Picture. Progress in the chemistry of organic natural products, 103, 103–131. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-45541-9_4
- Grassin-Delyle, S., Abrial, C., Fayad-Kobeissi, S. et al. (2021). The endocannabinoid system in the human brain: from physiology to pharmacology and drug discovery. Cell Mol Life Sci 79, 15–46. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00018-021-03931-9
For studies on CBG and memory:
- Farrimond, J. A., Whalley, B. J., & Williams, C. M. (2011). Cannabinol and cannabidiol exert opposing effects on rat feeding patterns. Psychopharmacology, 223(1), 117–129. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00213-011-2407-x
- Natural Medicine Journal. (2018). Cannabigerol: A Major Non-Psychotropic Cannabis Compound with Potential Therapeutic Utility. https://www.naturalmedicinejournal.com/journal/2018-09/cannabigerol-major-non-psychotropic-cannabis-compound-potential-therapeutic-utility