CBD lengthens sleep but shortens ripples and leads to intact simple but worse cumulative memory

iScience. 2023 Oct 24;26(11):108327. doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2023.108327. eCollection 2023 Nov 17.


Cannabidiol (CBD) is on the rise as over-the-counter medication to treat sleep disturbances, anxiety, pain, and epilepsy due to its action on the excitatory/inhibitory balance in the brain. However, it remains unclear if CBD also leads to adverse effects on memory via changes of sleep macro- and microarchitecture. To investigate the effect of CBD on sleep and memory consolidation, we performed two experiments using the object space task testing for both simple and cumulative memory in rats. We show that oral CBD administration extended the sleep period but changed the properties of rest and non-REM sleep oscillations (delta, spindle, ripples). Specifically, CBD also led to less long (>100 ms) ripples and, consequently, worse cumulative memory consolidation. In contrast, simple memories were not affected. In sum, we can confirm the beneficial effect of CBD on sleep; however, this comes with changes in oscillations that negatively impact memory consolidation.

Keywords: Cognitive neuroscience; Pharmacology.