Diseases that damage the autonomic nervous system (ANS) fall into the category of autonomic dysfunction. The autonomic nervous system is responsible for controlling involuntary bodily functions. Autonomic dysfunction can result in low blood pressure, fainting, weakness, diarrhea or constipation, numbness or tingling, dizziness and lightheadedness, urinary dysfunction, sexual dysfunction, and digestive issues. Autonomic dysfunction is often caused by other diseases, so treatment often focuses on these underlying conditions, but it is believed that cannabis may be able to help combat symptoms of the disorder thanks to its neuroprotective and antioxidant effects.
Studies show cannabis supports the health of the nervous system, and its cannabinoids CBD and THC limit neuron damage and promote neurogenesis. When these cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system, they could also potentially treat autonomic neuropathy. Studies have found modulating the endocannabinoid system slows the progression of neural disorders. Activation of the CB2 receptor attenuates autonomic function after a spinal cord injury. Additionally, cannabis acts as a vasodilator, meaning it can normalize blood pressure and blood flow, and can therefore reduce the risk of fainting.
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