The vast healing properties of the cannabis plant are becoming more and more widely known. The actual scientific knowledge behind why and how cannabinoids are an invaluable treatment and medication is sadly not widespread. Often misunderstood and misinterpreted, some studies involving the treatment and effects of cannabis on medical patients have sometimes been taken into the realm of pseudoscience by otherwise well-meaning cannabis activists and advocates. As with anything else in life, it’s imperative we have all the facts down before we attempt to explain them to others.
As we move towards full legalization, it is of the utmost importance for cannabis professionals to understand the science behind medical cannabis as best as we are able to understand it. As more restrictions are lifted, this will mean more objective testing will be able to be conducted. One of these pioneering new cannabis studies was recently published in the journal Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience and online by the National Institute of Health. The study says to have found that cannabis can protect the human brain from damage caused by alcohol.
According to the study, “Chronic alcohol exposure reduces endocannabinoid activity and disrupts adult neurogenesis in rodents, which results in structural and functional alterations.”
Cannabis is unlike almost any other substance in that it activates the body’s CB2 receptors. The authors concur that cannabis can promote the growth of new, healthy adult neurons while reducing harm to brain cells caused by chronic alcohol abuse.
“Alcohol-induced neurodegeneration and cognitive deficits occur due to neuronal cell death and the loss of neurogenesis in acute and chronic alcohol intoxication. Consequently, individuals with alcohol dependence exhibit significant volume loss in cortical and subcortical brain structures, including gray and white matter shrinkage. Activating CB2 receptors rescued alcohol-induced impaired NPC proliferation, which is a potential clinical interest for the risk of neural damage in alcohol dependence,” concludes the study.
The endocannabinoid system is of great interest to researchers because of these mediates neuro-protective effects. This study indicates that the healing properties of cannabis are even more expansive than we might think already. Hopefully more and more studies can be done, not just on help with healing alcoholism, but help with healing all diseases. This is yet another reason why cannabis advocates must understand the science behind the medication and help educate the general public.
What are your thoughts on this? How can we continue to best understand the science behind medical cannabis and its effects on the human body?