Cannabinoids and Traumatic Brain Injury Treatment

 Photo: MassRoots

Photo: MassRoots

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) refers to an injury sustained from a physical trauma or blow to the head. Recent controlled studies have found cannabinoids could help treat traumatic brain injury through its neuro-protective properties. In one study from 2014, patients with severe TBI who were administered THC treatments experienced significantly higher survival rates than those who were not given THC. In the group given THC, only 2 patients (2.4%) died, while in the control group, 42 patients (11.5%) died. Following a trauma, the body releases harmful mediators leading to toxicity, oxidative stress, and inflammation, but cannabis has been shown to offer protection to the neural system, which in turn reduces brain damage. In mice with brain injury, CBD reduced brain swelling. In pigs with TBI, CBD reduced brain inflammation and oxidative stress. In newborn humans with brain injuries, CBD offered neuroprotective benefits.

One study found patients with THC in their systems prior to suffering a brain injury were less likely to die from the TBI than those who had nothing in their system. Israeli researchers confirmed these findings, suggesting the administration of THC before or shortly after injury can prevent long-term brain damage. Authors of the study write, “Administering just a fraction of the amount of THC that would be found in a typical marijuana joint induces chemical processes necessary to protect critical brain cells while preserving long-term cognitive function.”

This information has been provided by MassRoots and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

What is Cannabichromene (CBC)?

 Photo Credit: Civilized

Photo Credit: Civilized

Although research surrounding cannabichromene (CBC) is still new, it is thought to be the second most abundant cannabinoid found in cannabis. The cannabinoid is non-psychoactive and offers an array of therapeutic benefits on its own, but it is also an important part of whole plant cannabis therapy.

CBC has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, and one study dating back to 1981 at the University of Mississippi found CBC had strong antibacterial activity and mild to moderate anti-fungal activity when administered to a variety of bacteria and fungi strains. Additionally, CBC offers relief from pain and inflammation. It is especially effective for treating inflammation in the intestinal tract, and in 2012, researchers from the University of Naples found CBC reduced diarrhea without causing constipation. CBC also can fight acne, and a European team of researchers in 2016 found CBC reduced arachidonic acid and the production of sebum in sebaceous glands. Lastly, CBC may support the growth and viability of neurogenesis, and a 2013 study at the Institute of Biomolecular Chemistry of the National Research Council found CBC had a positive effect on the viability of mouse neural stem progenitor cells (NSPCs).

This information is provided by Civilized and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

MMJ for Post Laminectomy Syndrome

 Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Post Laminectomy Syndrome is a condition that causes chronic pain in the back or neck after a laminectomy procedure. Usually, this pain is treated with painkillers, physical therapy, and other therapies like epidural nerve blocks, radiofrequency denervation, and platelet rich plasma therapy, but now it may be possible to add cannabis to the list of therapeutic options thanks to its analgesic properties. 

Cannabis is a safe and effective pain reliever, and studies have found its interaction with CB1 and CB2 receptors is capable of reducing the pain produced by neuropathy, headaches, migraines, cancer, spasticity, and other chronic pain conditions. One study looking at chronic pain medical marijuana users in Washington found four of the 139 patients involved had failed back surgical syndrome, and all four reported significant improvements. Two of those patients reported medical marijuana to be the most effective method for relieving pain. Another research review found cannabis was effective at treating several chronic pain conditions, including post-laminectomy syndrome, while maintaining a higher safety profile than opioids. Lastly, cannabis' neuroprotective properties could serve to limit nerve damage and support recovery following the surgery. 

This information has been provided by Civilized and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Study Suggests Cannabis May Help Crack Addicts Reduce Use

 Photo Credit: Civilized

Photo Credit: Civilized

Researchers from the BC Centre on Substance Use in Vancouver surveyed over 100 crack users in the city between the years of 2012 and 2015 and found cannabis may be able to help reduce crack cocaine addiction. The data was sourced from three prospective cohorts of more than 2,000 drug users. Some users intentionally used cannabis to control their addiction, and saw crack consumption drop significantly, with the proportion of daily reporters dropping from 35% to 20%. The BC Centre on Substance use would like to continue examining whether cannabis could be an effective tool for those looking to reduce their use of crack or other stimulants. 

This information has been provided by Civilized and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Study Finds CBD Reduces Potentially Fatal Seizures In Children

 Photo Credit: Civilized 

Photo Credit: Civilized 

A new study led by Dr. Orrin Devinsky of the NYU Langone Medical Center and published in the New England Journal of Medicine found the liquid form of CBD treatment called Epidiolex reduced the number of seizures in children with severe forms of epilepsy. The 120 children and teenagers from the U.S. and Europe who were involved in the study took a teaspoon of Epidiolex or placebo oil twice a day along with their traditional anti-seizure medications over the course of 14 weeks. Patients who took CBD saw a decrease in serious seizures with convulsions from 12 per month to 6. Three of those patients became seizure free. Those who took the placebo saw no change. Epidiolex did produce some side effects, however, and patients who took the medication experienced more frequent diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue, and sleep disturbances. Additionally, 12 patients removed themselves from the study, nine of which were on the drug and three of which were taking placebo. 

Still, the information is positive, and Devinsky says, "This is the first solid, rigorously obtained scientific data that CBD is a safe and effective treatment for this medical problem." This information has been provided by Civilized and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Why You Should Use Cannabinoids and Terpenes to Choose Strains

 Photo Credit: MassRoots

Photo Credit: MassRoots

As marijuana research begins to reveal the secrets behind the therapeutic makeup of varying strains, it's becoming better understood just how important the different cannabinoid and terpenoid content is in providing relief. Currently, many dispensaries categorize their strains based on the amount of THC present, but in doing so they ignore the powerful effects produced by other cannabinoids and terpenes, and the benefits produced as they work in tandem in what is known as the entourage effect. For example, a strain containing CBN, CBG, D-limonene, linalool, a-pinene, and myrcene, may work simultaneously to produce anti-inflammatory effects while promoting energy and creativity.

In addition to knowing which cannabinoids and terpenes are present in a cannabis strain, it is also important to understand the concentrations of each compound. The varying presence of cannabinoids and terpenes can greatly alter the effects produced. Keeping track of this information can get difficult and overwhelming, but CBMed has made this process easy for you! Simply document this information in the journaling section of our app, and take note of how effective it is relieving your symptoms. That way, you can look back at your entries when picking out strains so that you can choose the one that is most effective in providing therapeutic relief. For the best results, we recommend journaling every time you dose, so that you can see which strains produce consistent relief. 

This information has been provided in part by MassRoots and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

How Cannabis Really Helps Seniors

 Photo Credit: MassRoots

Photo Credit: MassRoots

Cannabis in the form of concentrates, edibles, or smoked or vaporized flowers, could be a therapeutic addition to the daily routines of seniors who are treating glaucoma, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, heart diseases, Crohn's disease, anxiety, depression, and arthritis. Cannabis' analgesic and anti-nausea properties make it a powerful player in treating the symptoms of a variety of ailments seniors face, as well as the side effects produced by their traditional treatment regimens. It can also improve the overall quality of life for patients. 

One recent study conducted by Valerie Corral, the co-founder of the Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM) in Santa Cruz, California, identified a "shift in consciousness" among terminally ill patients who undergo cannabis therapy, which allows them to enjoy a healthier and happier life during their final moments. Corral says, "This is of particular interest, as each patient reported a reduction in anxiety often associated with the dying process." WAMM is a medical marijuana co-op comprised of mostly seriously ill and terminal patients, of which HIV/AIDS and cancer are the two most commonly treated conditions. 

Cannabis also offers seniors a replacement for their more dangerous opiate therapies which can produce disorientation and confusion, nausea, loss of appetite, and a complete loss of functionality. These drugs are highly addictive and can lead to overdose and even death. Cannabis does not produce these harmful negative side effects, something that is most appealing to seniors.  

This information has been provided by MassRoots and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Why Cannabis Relieves PTSD Symptoms

 Photo Credit: MassRoots

Photo Credit: MassRoots

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder resulting from traumatic experiences. Currently, PTSD patients are prescribed psychiatric medications that can produce negative side effects, but cannabis may be able to help. Neuroimaging studies have suggested the endocannabinoid system plays a key role in managing the central neurobiological pathways, which contributes to the dysregulation of threat-related processing responses to previous traumatic exposure. The endocannabinoid system also plays an important role in the function of the prefrontal cortex, making it key in information processing, subcortical arousal, and the regulation of cholinergic inputs. It may also disrupt conditioned fear and facilitate adaptation to aversive situations. Additionally, the ECS' ability to modulate hippocampal memory and plasticity may be the most important reason for cannabis' ability to treat PTSD. 

When cannabinoids receptors are activated in the prefrontal complex, they could augment serotonergic neurotransmission and elicit antidepressant effects. Researchers believe activation of the CB1 receptor may prevent the alteration of G-proteins in the prefrontal cortex, which in return may reduce suicidal thoughts and behaviors. One study involving patients in New Mexico's Medical Cannabis Program for PTSD found medical cannabis' antidepressant properties reduced the frequency and severity of suicidal behaviors in most participants, and in some cases, it led to the complete cessation of these behaviors. Cannabis may also help PTSD patients manage symptoms and prevent the relapse of symptoms by contributing to the disruption of aversive memories, anxiety, and improving stress-coping behaviors and reactivity to threat signals. 

Research correlates lower levels of anandamide with the occurrence of PTSD, and PTSD has been attributed to a deficiency in endocannabinoids, which regulate mood perceptions, flashback memories, behaviors, metabolism, and digestion. When cannabis activates these cannabinoids receptors, it helps to alleviate PTSD symptoms. One Brazilian study found THC is more potent than CBD in attenuating fear memories, and a combination may relieve symptoms with minimal and tolerable side effects. Other research has found CBD can treat neuropsychiatric disorders by interacting with serotonergic receptors and dopaminergic systems. One induced-fear test in animal models found CBD-treated laboratory animals exhibited less stress when nearing an electric maze in which they had previously been exposed to painful sensations. Lastly, one study found THC's binding to CB1 receptors in the medial prefrontal cortex resulted in memory reactivation and retrieval, but that CBD wa able to counter this as well as other psychotropic effects, leading to an effective way to manage PTSD symptoms. Even sub-effective doses of the two cannabinoids mitigated dysfunctional aversive and fear memories, locomotor activity, and anxiety-related behaviors. 

This information has been provided by MassRoots and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Digestive Diseases Being Treated With Medical Cannabis

 Photo Credit: MassRoots

Photo Credit: MassRoots

There are several diseases where medical marijuana may be beneficial in ways that traditional medications are not. For those who have celiac disease, which refers to the bad reaction that occurs when one consumes gluten, cannabis may be able to help. Research has found cannabinoids can heal damage in the intestinal lining in patients with celiac disease, which has led researchers to suggest targeting CB2 receptors may be the symptomatic cure. Patients who suffer from another gluten-sensitive disease referred to as leaky gut have advocated for the use of medical cannabis to treat their symptoms as opposed to more harmful pharmaceuticals. Lastly, those who suffer from the chronic inflammatory bowel disease known as Crohn's disease could benefit from the use of medical cannabis. Cannabis can help reduce symptoms of abdominal pain, weight loss, diarrhea, anemia, and fatigue. Currently, Crohn's patients are prescribed pharmaceuticals that sometimes produce harsh side effects that actually exacerbate symptoms.

This information has been provided by MassRoots and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

 

Review Investigates Cannabinoids for Treating Cancer

 Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

A recent review of the available literature on cannabinoids and cancer in children published by a team of Israeli scientists in The Israel Medical Association Journal concluded cannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD) are effective in treating cancer. The team of physicians looked at preclinical evidence of cannabinoids' anti-cancer efficacy, clinical evidence of cannabinoids' anti-cancer efficacy, and cannabinoids' efficacy on pediatric tumors. For preclinical trials, researchers highlighted a 1975 study that found cannabinoids reduced tumor growth in in vitro and in vivo experiences. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) was effective against lung cancer. More research from the 2000s found cannabinoids had anti-cancer effects on gliomas and various types of tumors, like prostate, breast, leukemia, lymphoma, pancreas, melanoma, thyroid, colorectal, and heptocellular carcinoma, in animal and cultural models. More research into the cannabinoids' therapeutic mechanisms is desired, but what is known is that they induce cell death, inhibit cell growth, and inhibit tumor angiogenesis invasion and metastasis.

There are fewer clinical trials, but researchers were able to identify a human trial involving nine patients that suggested THC treatments effectively decreased tumor growth and slowed tumor progression. There were no clinical trials involving the anti-cancer effects of cannabinoids on pediatric tumors, but in one preclinical trial, CBD effectively reduced the viability and invasiveness of the aggressive pediatric tumor, neuroblastoma. That same study found THC and CBD effectively treated xenograft tumors in mice, with CBD being the more effective of the two. The review urges for more clinical trials to investigate cannabis' anti-cancer effects. 

This information has been provided by Medical Marijuana Inc. and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. You can also access the review here.

Terpene Profile: Caryophyllene

 Photo Credit: Civilized

Photo Credit: Civilized

In our most recent post, we discussed the benefits of the terpene humulene. In today's post, we'll take a look at another terpene present in cannabis: Caryophyllene. Caryophyllene is already pretty well known for the spicy scent it contributes to black pepper, and in a 2008 study, a team of researchers found the terpene acted like a cannabinoid through binding to CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system. They found caryophyllene does not bind to CB1 receptors. That same study concluded caryophyllene has therapeutic anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-fungal, antibacterial, anesthetic, and analgesic properties. Caryophyllene may also be beneficial in treating anxiety, stress, depression, ulcers, autoimmune disorders, muscle tension, and chronic body pain. The terpene is also recognized by the FDA as a dietary supplement.

Researchers are especially intrigued by caryophyllene's potential to treat alcohol cravings and fight cancerous tumors. One study published in 2014 in the journal Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior found β-caryophyllene activated CB2 receptors which resulted in the decrease of desire for alcohol in mice. Another study from the same year conducted at the Kyung Hee University in the Republic of Korea found β-caryophyllene suppressed tumor growth and stimulated apoptosis in cancer cells.

This information has been brought to you by Civilized and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

Terpene Profile: Humulene

 Photo Credit: Civilized

Photo Credit: Civilized

As research surrounding cannabis expands, people are becoming much more familiar with the cannabinoids that are responsible for therapeutic relief, but people are not as familiar with the other medicinal compounds of cannabis: terpenes. One such terpene is Humulene, one of the ore prominent terpenes of cannabis with a distinct hoppy aroma. Humulene has been used to suppress appetite, treat inflammation, manage pain, and fight bacterial infections. Another study from the University of Quebec in 2006 humulene was active against staphylococcus aureus bacteria strain. Another study from the Federal University of Santa Catarina in Brazil in 2007 found humulene effectively reduced inflammation. A 2008 study suggested humulene acted as an antinociceptive, so that it effectively blocked feelings of pain. Now, humulene is being analyzed for its potential in treating cancerous tumors. Recently in 2003, the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research found humulene was the only compound in balsam fir oil that was active against solid tumor cell lines, and determined the terpene aided in producing Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS), which supports apoptosis in cancer. 

This information has been brought to you be Civilized and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

What Are the Positive Long Term Effects of Consuming Cannabis?

 Photo Credit: Civilized

Photo Credit: Civilized

While research on the long term negative and positive impacts of cannabis is relatively scarce due to the legal limitations imposed by federal research, there are some individual studies that hint at the benefits of long term cannabis consumption. One study published in The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, found CBD promoted neurogenesis (or brain cell growth) in the hippocampus in rats and mice. Because of the hippocampus' role in regulating emotion and cognitive function, this suggests CBD might effectively benefit mood disorders like anxiety and depression. Additionally, research has found CBD has neuroprotective properties, and may prevent against nervous system damage that leads to dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, stroke, and Parkinson's Disease.

Cannabis may also be effective at treating various medical conditions and maintaining overall health due to its role in influencing homeostasis in the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Endocannabinoid deficiency can lead to a variety of medical conditions, and by binding to cannabinoid receptors within the ECS, cannabis can contribute cannabinoids that fill this gap. Homeostasis also maintains a healthy immune system. Lastly, cannabis ability to manage pain could reduce or eliminate the need for stronger prescription medications, like opioids, that come with a host of severe negative side effects that can greatly deteriorate health and, at times, become fatal. 

This information has been provided by Civilized and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Association of Cannabis With Cognitive Functioning in Adolescents and Young Adults A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

 Photo Credit: Pixabay

Photo Credit: Pixabay

While studies have found cannabis does not harm, and may even benefit, cognitive performance in the elderly, this may be a different story for adolescents and young adults. In a new systematic review and meta-analysis published in JAMA, researchers found continued cannabis use was associated with small declines in cognitive function among adolescents and young adults. The review looked at 69 cross-sectional studies of 2152 cannabis users and 6575 comparison participants with a mean age of 26 and under. Researchers reported a small but significant overall effect size for a reduction in cognitive functioning among those who reported frequent cannabis use. Although cannabis was found to decrease cognitive performance in the study participants, the study also found that this decline is not permanent, and that abstaining from cannabis use for 72 hours diminishes the cognitive deficits associated with cannabis use. The study also suggests previous reports of cognitive decline associated with cannabis use may have been overstated. As attitudes and policies continue to shift in the face of cannabis legalization, the researchers call for further examinations on the use of cannabis and cognitive functioning.

This information has been provided by JAMA and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

CBD Could Potentially Fight Cervical Cancer Cells

 Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

A pair of researchers in South Africa have published a study in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine that identifies CBD as a potential treatment option for cervical cancer. Using in vitro analysis techniques, researchers Lesetja R. Motadi and Sindiswa T Lukhele compared anti-proliferative effects of cannabis sativa extract (and its main component CBD) on human cervical cancer cells, and found varying concentrations of both CBD and cannabis sativa extract were effective in inhibiting cancer cell proliferation. CBD was especially beneficial, however, for its ability to induce apoptosis, even at low concentrations. Authors wrote, “In conclusion, these data suggest that cannabidiol rather than Cannabis sativa crude extracts prevent cell growth and induce cell death in cervical cancer cell lines.”

This information has been provided by Medical Marijuana Inc. and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Study Suggests CBD and THC Help Treat Neuroblastoma in Kids

 Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

A new study from Israel suggests cannabinoids like THC and CBD could mitigate the multiplication of neuroblastoma, which is primarily a childhood disease. In the study, which was published in Current Oncology, researchers found CBD and THC were able to impede the growth of tumors by reducing their viability and invasiveness, and induce apoptosis. Of the two cannabinoids' anti-tumor effects, CBD was found to be more active.

Researchers used culture and animal models to test the effects of these cannabinoids on neuroblastoma. In the culture models, cells were treated with either cannabinoid or left untreated. In the animal models, mice were induced with tumors via subcutaneous injection, and were then injected with 20 mg/kg THC or 20 mg/kg CBD or left untreated for 14 days. Both models investigated the tumors by measuring and testing viability, cell cycle distribution, growth rate, cell invasiveness, and apoptotic cell death rate. Researchers conclude, “Our findings about the activity of CBD in [neuroblastoma] support and extend previous findings about the anti-tumor activities of CBD in other tumors and suggest that cannabis extracts enriched in CBD and not in THC could be suitable for the development of novel non-psychotropic therapeutic strategies in [neuroblastoma]."

This information has been provided by Medical Marijuana Inc. and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Medical Marijuana for Cystic Fibrosis

 Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc. 

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc. 

Cystic fibrosis is an inherited progressive disorder that causes infections in the lungs and damages the digestive system, and it causes salty-tasting skin, the inability to gain weight, male infertility, frequent bulky stools, aches and pains, and coughing that can lead to nausea and vomiting. It can also lead to other respiratory, digestive, and reproductive system complications. Because researchers associate the disorder to impairments in the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which results in an imbalance of fatty acids, cannabis may be able to help manage the symptoms of cystic fibrosis through its ability to normalize the ECS.

Studies have found THC benefits those with cystic fibrosis by relieving nausea and vomiting, acting as a bronchodilator, and providing anti-inflammatory, anti-diarrheal, and pain-relieving effects. An animal trial found mice with cystic fibrosis who were treated with THC during infancy prevented infertility in males. Another found regular THC treatments during infancy benefited motor activity and improved anxiety levels. Marijuana treatments even combatted the mortality caused by decreased appetite and malnutrition in cystic fibrosis patients. Researchers believe cannabinoid treatments for children or young adults with cystic fibrosis might improve food intake, reduce inflammation, and overall improve their health. 

This information has been provided by Medical Marijuana Inc. and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

 

New Study Finds Cannabis May Help Preserve Brain Function As We Age

 Photo Credit: Medical Jane

Photo Credit: Medical Jane

In the previous posts, we discussed the growing amount of information suggesting marijuana can help the brain. Now we have another study to add to that list. Scientists at the University of Bonn and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel) have now found away to reverse the process that leads to cognitive decline as we age in mice, a process which makes it harder to learn new things, manage attention, and develop or recall short-term memories. The study, which was published in Nature Medicine, reported low-doses of THC helped restore and even reverse some effects of age-related decline in cognitive performance in mice. It also enhanced the expression of synaptic marker proteins, and increased hippocampal spine density. All of these results create hope in the treatment and prevention of dementia and neurodegenerative disease.  

Researchers chose to experiment on mice because, like humans, their hippocampus and other parts of the brain function similarly in memory and learning. Additionally, they have the same proteins and biological systems, like a similar endocannabinoid system. For the study, mice were grouped by age (2, 12, and 18 months). There was also a control group left untreated. The treated groups were implanted with a device that administered low doses of THC. All groups were tested before and after treatment for cognitive capacities, and the mice underwent a series of behavioral and ability tests to see how they were able to adapt and learn in a changing environment. They were also observed for their ability to recognize others. After treatment, researchers looked at brain tissue and gene activity of the treated mice and found the molecular signature no longer looked like that of an old animal, but instead had a more youthful signature. Professor Andreas Zimmer explained, “The treatment completely reversed the loss of performance in the old animals. It looked as though the THC treatment turned back the molecular clock.”

This information has been provided by Medical Jane and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Cannabis is Actually Good for Your Brain - Part 2.

 Photo Credit: MassRoots

Photo Credit: MassRoots

In our previous post, we began to dive into the studies that suggest marijuana may actually benefit the brain, as opposed to damaging it as many marijuana opponents claim. Today we will discuss more studies that add to the growing amount of information supporting the brain health benefits of marijuana.

One new study from a Harvard University affiliated hospital found three months of cannabis treatment increased the speed in which adult patients could complete word and color tests. Author Stacey Gruber PHD explains, “After three months of medical marijuana treatment, patients actually performed better, in terms of their ability to perform certain cognitive tasks, specifically those mediated by the frontal cortex."

Lastly, Chinese researchers in 2005 found stimulated the production of new neural cells in the hippocampus, the area of the brain responsible for cognitive and emotional processing. This suggests marijuana could possibly reverse the brain damaging effects of addiction to other substances, which are known to suppress the production of new brain cells in the hippocampus. A 2013 study found CBD also had this ability, reversing depression and anxiety which led to the stimulation of the growth of new cells in the hippocampus. 

This information has been provided by MassRoots and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

Science: Cannabis is Actually Good for Your Brain - Part 1.

 Photo Credit: MassRoots

Photo Credit: MassRoots

Some patients may be interested in medical marijuana, but may fear claims that it can lower IQ and can cause brain damage. Studies, however, might say others. Studies have found marijuana doesn't lower IQ, and that marijuana actually has the ability to stimulate the growth of new brain cells.

A breakthrough study published by the National Academy of Sciences in 1998 found THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids protected brain cells in rats that had been poisoned by the neurotoxin glutamate. They determined all cannabis compounds prevented oxidative damage caused by the toxin, and CBD had higher antioxidant function than even the well known vitamins C and A. In more recent years, other studies have confirmed these neuroprotective properties. Last year, at UC San Diego, researchers found cannabinoids blocked age-related plaque buildup on beta amyloid (Aβ), a neurotoxin which scientists believe contributes to cell death and leads to dementia in the elderly. 

Other studies have found cannabis can help improve cognitive function. One study from Israel in 2013 found marijuana may improve learning and memory function. Researchers exposed rats to high levels of stress for two weeks to simulate cognitive deficits found in stress-related neuropsychiatric disorders like anxiety and depression that causes problems in short-term memory recall and solving spatial tasks. They found cannabinoids not only prevented the onset of these problems, but that they also could reverse them after they set in.

This information has been provided by MassRoots and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. Stay tuned for our followup post, which discusses more studies in which cannabis may benefit the brain.