Can Marijuana Actually Protect the Brain? Cool!

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No, we are not kidding! Researchers have found that smoking your favorite herbal supplement can actually help those who have undergone traumatic brain injuries.

In fact, scientists say smoking that blunt could even save your life. Recent research shows that there is a potential link between the use of marijuana and keeping your grey matter safe in the event of a devastating brain injury.

The Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute conducted a study of more than 440 subjects who had had traumatic brain injuries. They discovered that those who smoked weed regularly were much less likely to die than those who did not. In fact, only 2.4 percent of the patients who tested positive for marijuana use died, compared to the 11.5 percent of tested negative for THC.

In a separate study, researchers from Hebrew University in Israel found that mice that had undergone major head trauma had higher levels of a cannabinoid compound that is extremely similar to THC that offered some protection to the brains of these mice. Some animals produce this compound, called 2-arachodonoyl, and some don’t.

The mice the produced this THC-like compound as a natural response to help protect the brain from any further injury. Later, scientists deliberately injected this compound to the mice that did not naturally produce this compound and they found that it did reduce the amount of further brain injury to these mice.

It’s believed to work by reducing the buildup of a toxic chemical (glutamate), decrease the amount of free radicals, which cause even further damage to cells, while decreasing the amount of a chemical in the body called TNF, which causes inflammation, and increases the flow of blood to the brain.

It’s time to think of pot as the new seat belt, air bag, or helmet!

That little green supplement can do a great deal more for your brain than you imagined. Keep reading about 4 other ways pot can help you keep your noggin in tip top shape.

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1. Cannabis Can Help Slow the Aging of the Brain

Although heavy pot users aren’t well known for their terrific memories, pot might actually benefit you in the long run by stopping or maybe even reversing the aging process for the brain. Studies have even shown that marijuana has the ability to reverse detrimental brain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s. This study, published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, believes that by stimulating the cannabinoid receptor system, pot triggers a sort of anti-oxidant cleanse.

This, in turn, removes damaged brain cells and the efficacy of the mitochondria of the brain cells becomes greatly improved. Mitochondria is the energy that gives your brain cells power. This will greatly improve the function of the brain, which will also reduce the chances of developing inflammation in the brain, which is one of the main causes of Alzheimer’s and other gut wrenching brain diseases like dementia.

 

2. Marijuana Can Actually Make Your Brain Grow

Your brain never stops growing. This process is called neurogenesis. Although some people might think otherwise,  pot actually helps the brain to grow new cells. There is a lesser-known chemical in pot called cannabichromene, or CBC, which a study done out of Italy found that pot smokers grew more new brain cells than those who did not indulge.

Another study backs up this one. Published in The International Journal of Neuropharmacology, this study suggests that another ingredient in pot, CBD, also helped in the neurogenesis of the brain. This study shows that these new neurons specifically occurred in the hippocampus, the area of the brain that is associated with navigation and memory. By making these areas larger and stronger, your chances of developing depression, dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other brain disorders, are greatly diminished.

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3. Pot Protects You from Chronic Stress

Everyone knows that chronic stress is not good for your health, but most people do not know that stress can actually change the way your brain works over time. Stress is also the underlying cause of most cases of depression and anxiety. Research recently done in Israel shows that pot can protect your brain from the effects of chronic stress. This study suggests that the cannabinoids in pot can protect us from the damage that happens to the brain from chronic stress.

Researchers also found that the rats in these studies recovered more quickly from stress than those rats who did not indulge. This study shows a connection between THC and the way in which it can help trigger different helpful brain functions.

One interesting part of this study is that it showed that daily doses of THC (which means smoking pot daily) seemed to improve short-term memory in subjects that were done with rats. Also, rats that were given THC showed greater learning abilities as well. So the next time your boss gives you a hard time, rather than hit the liquor cabinet, you might want to hit the bong instead.

 

SEE ALSO: Top 16 Studies That Show Cannabis is Effective Against Cancer

 

4. Marijuana Helps to Fight Brain Cancer

Breast cancer gets a great deal of attention, but brain cancer is actually one of the most deadly types of cancer around. Many studies have shown that the cannabinoids in pot have powerful anti-cancer compounds, especially when it comes to brain cancer. Researchers at the Complutense University in Spain found that the THC in pot actually killed brain cancer cells. Scientists gave THC to mice that had human tumor cells. THC was shown to cause the tumor to shrink and die. These anti-cancer compounds are in the cannabinoid receptors in every single human brain.

The scientists stated that they believe that two of the cannabinoid receptors, CB2 and GPR55, were responsible for this anti-cancer effect.

There are many reasons to smoke pot, but now that we know all the health benefits, it becomes clearer every day that we should take further steps to get this super medicinal plant off the “dangerous drug” list and onto the “helpful medicine” list as soon as possible.

Think of the lives that can be saved and mended simply by just saying “yes” to marijuana!

References:

Cell.com

Thelancet.com

Brain.oxfordjournals.org