Getting Down To Basics with Plants

Ways in Which Marijuana May Slow Down Brain Aging

As we grow older; our memory becomes bad. Those who smoke marijuana aren’t known for great memory, but a new study suggests that drugs that have components like marijuana’s active ingredients can hold promise for reversing or slowing down brain aging or even Alzheimer’s and other diseases that degenerate the brain.

Since the start of the decade, scientists have been studying the ability of substances similar to marijuana that produce the brain’s cannabinoid system. In experiments done on animals, synthetic constituents similar to THC, the major psychoactive element in Marijuana, have shown potential in keeping brain functions. A study conducted in 2008 showed that a substance similar to THC lowered the inflammation and enhanced the memory in rats that were older.

The most recent review demonstrates that activating the cannabinoid System in the brain may trigger a type of anti-oxidant cleanse, eliminating damaged cells and enhancing the potency of the mitochondria which is the most important source of energy which forces the cells leading to a brain that works better. Studies conducted previously have connected cannabinoids to higher amounts of the neurotrophic factor derived from the brain. This chemical is the one which protects the cells in the brain and also promotes the development of new ones. During aging, new brain cells quit growing consequently, raising the BDNF could slow the decline in cognitive purposes. Activating the cannabinoid receptors can diminish the inflammation in the mind in various ways that may subsequently inhibit a number of these disease processes that cause degenerative brain diseases, for instance, Alzheimer’s.

Other studies have revealed that mice which weren’t exposed to The cannabinoid receptors have great memory early in life but it declined rapidly as they aged. This finding shows that at some stage throughout the aging process, the cannabinoid process helped the mice to maintain normal cognitive functions. The review though makes a disclaimer that there are no conclusive studies to support the idea that marijuana can improve brain functions among the elderly but it is a critical area of investigation.

More to this, the research included in the review provided conflicting results. Even though some trials were conducted on cannabinoids for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, the studies did not give a conclusive solution on whether cannabinoids contribute to the increase or progression of the disease.

There have been both political and societal challenges in carrying out the studies to ascertain the ability of marijuana in slowing down aging. This implies it might take some time to fill the gaps left by past research studies. Researchers are yet to run a conclusive study to see if those who smoke marijuana will probably develop Alzheimer’s disease. They are also yet to compare the decrease in marijuana smoker’s cognitive ability to people who don’t.