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How Does Cannabis Consumption Affect the Brain?

Saturday, March 4th, 2017

How Does Cannabis Consumption Affect the Brain? For centuries, people across the world have been using cannabis as a medicine. Today, however, it is more vilified for its alleged risks as an inebriant rather than praised for its many benefits. The campaign against cannabis has been so strong that many people are unaware of the medicinal benefits of cannabis.

Here’s a look at some research on how cannabis consumption affects the brain.

Prevent brain damage

Amidst several studies that suggest a link between marijuana and brain damage, it is currently undergoing testing as a treatment for traumatic brain injury patients.

In the United States, 52,000 annual deaths are caused by traumatic brain injury. A 2014 study posits that cannabis may in fact save the lives of those who have suffered from severe brain trauma. In the study, researchers analyzed blood samples from patients who suffered from head injury. They found out that people who had low amounts of THC (the active agent in cannabis) in their bloodstream are 80% less likely to die from head trauma, as opposed to those who had no THC in their bloodstream.

Meanwhile, a 2012 study suggests that THC, when given in low doses, is actually beneficial for patients who are at constant risk of brain injury – epileptics being one of them.

Slows progression of Alzheimer’s

While there is still no cure for Alzheimer’s today, studies suggest that cannabis may slow its progression.

Recent research conducted by scientists from the Salk Institute in California revealed that very small doses of THC may help in reducing the amount of beta amyloid, key contributor to the progression of Alzheimer’s, in the brain. However, more work needs to be done in evaluating it as a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.

Promotes neurogenesis

For years, anti-cannabis lobbying groups have spread misinformation that the use of cannabis kills brain cells. This is nothing more than a scare tactic. These scare tactics are based on rudimentary research from the 1970s. Modern research has uncovered that this is simply not true.

In fact, recent studies show that cannabis promotes new brain cell growth. Cannabidiol (CBD), a lesser known chemical in cannabis, is a key contributor of neurogenesis in the brain. These developing brain cells are an essential component of brain health and function.

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Sources:

Prevent brain damage – Leafly.com
https://www.leafly.com/news/science-tech/cannabis-and-traumatic-brain-injury

Slows progression of Alzheimer’s
Fox News http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/08/28/marijuana-compound-may-slow-halt-progression-alzheimer.html
Salk.edu
http://www.salk.edu/news-release/cannabinoids-remove-plaque-forming-alzheimers-proteins-from-brain-cells/

Promotes neurogenesis
TruthOnPot.com – Scientists Discover Another Way Marijuana Helps The Brain Grow


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