'It's Never Too Late To Start Smoking Marijuana,' According To Neuroscientist Gary Wenk

You might think smoking up is a young person's pastime, but one cannabis researcher says that the older crowd shouldn't turn up their noses at joints.

"It's never too late to start smoking marijuana," according to Dr. Gary Wenk. The professor of behavioral neuroscience at Ohio State University added that moderate cannabis use is actually very beneficial to elderly people. And moderate consumption doesn't have the same drawbacks for the older crowd that it does for youths.

"If you are a young rat or a young human and you use a little marijuana every day, you will see a short-term memory impairment," Dr. Wenk explained. "It goes away when the drug leaves the brain. But the old rats were quite different. When the old rats were given one puff a day, they got smarter."

Consuming cannabis can also help prevent Alzheimer's and treat conditions like arthritis. And you don't have to get high to enjoy those effects. Wenk says "a puff a day" is often all older patients need to improve cognitive function and protect their brains from Alzheimer's and other degenerative conditions.

And he even endorsed the wake-and-bake.

"Five cups of coffee a day is almost as good as a puff a day of marijuana - not as good, but in that direction," Wenk said before adding of cannabis and coffee: "There couldn't be a better breakfast for the brain."

And if you're interested in trying cannabis for the first time, check out this video.

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Because it has been illegal or stigmatized for decades, the body of cannabis research available is, in many ways, incomplete. But Canada’s federal government is taking advantage of the country’s status as the only G7 country to have legalized marijuana and addressing that issue. It was announced yesterday that nearly 25 million dollars will be used to fund cannabis research in Canada.

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