THC may affect older brains in a surprising way

A toke a day might just keep the doctor away, or at least keep your brain younger. That's according to a new study out Monday in the journal Nature Medicine.

Researchers at the University of Bonn and Hebrew University gave young and old mice THC — the stuff in marijuana that gets you high — and found something interesting.

The younger mice conformed to stoner stereotypes; they struggled with simple tasks they could easily do sober.

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Marijuana legalization laws by state
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Marijuana legalization laws by state

Alabama: Medical use only, otherwise possession is a felony

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Alaska: Marijuana legalized for medical and recreational use 

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Arizona: Marijuana legalized for medical use

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Arkansas: Medical use only

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California: Legal for medical and recreational use

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Colorado: Legal for medical and recreational use  

(REUTERS/Rick Wilking)

Connecticut: Decriminalized and legalized for medical use 

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Delaware: Decriminalized

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Florida: Medical use only

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Georgia: Medical use only

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Hawaii: Medical use only

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Idaho: Not legal

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Illinois: Decriminalized

(Photo: VisionsofAmerica/Joe Sohm)

Indiana: Not legal

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Iowa: Medical use only

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Kansas: Not legal

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Kentucky: Not legal

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Louisiana: Medical use only

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Maine: Legal for medical and recreational use

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Maryland: Decriminalized

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Massachusetts: Legal

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Michigan: Medical use only

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Minnesota: Decriminalized

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Mississippi: Decriminalized on first offense

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Missouri: Not legal

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Montana: Medical use only

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Nebraska: Decriminalized on first offense only

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Nevada: Legal

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New Hampshire: Medical use only

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New Jersey: Medical use only

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New Mexico: Medical use only

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New York: Decriminalized unless in public view

(REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)

North Carolina: Decriminalized

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North Dakota: Medical use only

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Ohio: Decriminalized

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Oklahoma: Medical use only

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Oregon: Legal for medical and recreational use

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Pennsylvania: Medical use only

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Rhode Island: Decriminalized

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South Carolina: Not legal

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South Dakota: Not legal

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Tennessee: Medical use only

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Texas: Medical use only, decriminalized in Houston and Dallas

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Utah: Not legal 

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Vermont: Decriminalized

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Virginia: Not legal

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Washington: Legal for medical and recreational use

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West Virginia: Medical use only

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Wisconsin: Medical use only

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Wyoming: Not legal 

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SEE MORE: Support For Pot Seems To Be Growing, But Not In Trump's White House

But in older mice, the exact opposite was true. They struggled while sober, but under the influence, they were as good as their younger sober counterparts.

The daily low dosage of THC also seemed to protect against, and even reverse, signs of aging in the brains of older rats.

Previous research has shown that the brain's cannabis receptors might be related to brain health.

The researchers want to explore the impact of THC on older human brains later this year.

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