Due to decades of anti-marijuana propaganda, cannabis has been incorrectly linked to things like brain damage, lower cognitive functioning, and general intellectual apathy. Images of stoners mindlessly giggling on their couches while munching on junk food come to mind for many people whenever cannabis enters a conversation, but science is beginning to paint a different picture.
You might not know this, but cannabis is actually linked to good brain health. You wouldn’t be entirely wrong in thinking that excessive use of cannabis can lead to memory loss and cognitive impairment, but that shouldn’t deter you from looking further into the many neurological benefits of responsible consumption.
Cannabis actually works to protect and repair the brain, and here’s how:
Marijuana helps heal traumatic brain injuries
If you’ve ever had a traumatic brain injury (TBI), you might be familiar with the headaches and mental fog that follows. In some cases learning can become impaired and you can forget simple things like how to operate a microwave, how to tie your shoes, and even spell your own name.
Whether they’re from automobile accidents or strokes, TBI’s are unfortunately common. However, due to advances in cannabis research, scientists have discovered that the main chemical compound found in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) greatly reduces inflammation, allowing for oxygen and other nutrients to reach damaged tissues of the brain.
Studies also show that THC actually helps in the repair and regeneration of neurons -a process called neurogenesis, which (until recently) was thought to be impossible.
Memory loss is largely a false stereotype
The idea that smoking marijuana impairs memory comes from the many years of anti-drug campaigns with which marijuana is unfortunately associated. Despite what you heard in the 1930’s, cannabis won’t send you on a murderous rampage through your peaceful suburban neighborhood, and it almost certainly won’t lower your IQ. There’s little evidence to support the claim that marijuana will negatively impact your memory -especially not when using it for therapeutic purposes.
If you experience memory impairment at all, it’s most likely due to overuse or abuse, and the symptoms will go away within a few weeks after stopping. The best practice is always moderation, so don’t go thinking that your brain will be even more protected and repaired with excessive use of cannabis!
Compounds in cannabis protect the brain
In the same way that the chemical compounds THC and CBD (cannabidiol) help the brain to recover from traumatic brain injuries, they also help to protect the brain from injury. Substances that protect the brain from damage are called neuroprotectants, and they can range from synthetic drugs, to herbs (like cannabis), vitamins, and other natural substances.
Cannabis helps to protect the brain by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). Cannabinoids like THC and CBD interact and bind with receptors throughout this system, working to reduce inflammation and promote the growth of new cells.
It’s important to note that while THC and CBD are the primary compounds responsible for the therapeutic and protective effects of cannabis, there are nearly 100 other cannabinoids and terpenes present in the plant itself, and THC and CBD are most effective when accompanied by the less prominent cannabinoids. This is referred to as the Entourage Effect.
To learn more about the effects of cannabinoids and terpenes, check out this article on Veriheal.
THC fights brain cancer
While most of the research into the benefits of cannabis have been focused on CBD and its anti-inflammatory effects, other studies have linked the more recreationally popular cannabinoid, THC, to fighting cancer. While more research needs to be done, this study showed that THC targeted and fought malignant cells while leaving healthy cells untouched.
With more research, scientists may be able to use cannabis to treat other forms of cancer in the lungs, breasts, and other parts of the body.
Marijuana treats symptoms of various neurological disorders
Because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, cannabis can be used to treat symptoms of various neurological disorders like ALS and Parkinson’s disease, as these disorders are caused by inflammation disrupting neurological processes in the brain.
Cannabis also shows promise in treating Alzheimer’s, as cannabinoid compounds like THC can help protect brain cells against the inflammation caused by plaque within the cells themselves -slowing further development of the problem.
Despite what the mainstream media has propagated in the past, cannabis gives modern medicine a natural way to treat many debilitating and even life-threatening neurological occurrences, and with responsible use, cannabis can improve your way of life!
Find here – How Cannabis Works to Protect & Repair the Brain