Finding Out How The Brain Can Protect Itself From Negative Impact
People have been using cannabis for medicinal purposes for over a thousand years. Most people will think of marijuana when they hear cannabis, but there is definitely more to cannabis nowadays. The cannabis plant contains more than a 100 compounds or cannabinoids. It's these compounds that carries holistic natural remedies to promote better health and mind. Two of the most well known cannabinoids are THC and CBD.
THC contain psychoactive effects that alter the brain function. It also cause changes in perception, mood and behavior. On the other hand CBD doesn't not have psychoactive effects and it's contain therapeutic properties like pain relief, promotes better sleep, antioxidants, anti-inflammation, improves digestion and appetite, etc.
Did you know your body can produce its own cannabinoid? There is a complex system that is spread all over your body and has a crucial role in maintaining the balance in your body. We call this the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS regulates physiological processes which involve relieving pain, controlling stress, appetite and inflammation.
So if our body already has our own cannabinoid then why do we need CBD or THC in our system? To simplify things, cannabinoids like CBD enter your body and interact with the endocannabinoid system to enhance the effects and make the endocannabinoid system's functions more effective. So CBD and other cannabinoids act as an enhancing agent to your endocannabinoid system.
There are many medicinal uses for CBD including treating some neurological disorders like epilepsy. In 2018 the US FDA approved the first CBD-based medication to treat severe symptoms of epilepsy.
Before we go on we have to realize that cannabinoids like CBD do come with some side effects. Though the side effects may be minor and there have not been reports of major case of side effects, but nonetheless it is best to know about the side effects. Psychological side effects will include dizziness and drowsiness and other side effects are fatigue, dry mouth, change in appetite or mood.
Some studies claimed that psychological side effects from CBD like drowsiness and dizziness could kill or damage some neurons cells in the brain. But fear not the brain has more than just neurons.
Astrocytes, a supporting cell in the nervous system, have an important function of protecting neurons from damage.
In an article published in Advanced Biology, scientists from South Korea created an experiment on how astrocytes can protect neurons from CBD neurotoxicity. They explained that in the past, they found that high doses of CBD could harm neurons, but from the result of the experiment they could see that astrocytes can alleviate harmful effects from CBD meaning there is less to be concerned about the effects from CBD.
Neurons and astrocytes were separated in the experiment to fully understand the impact CBD would have with both substances without mixing them together to see how astrocytes can really alleviate the impact from CBD. The findings found that there was a significant difference in the amount of dead cells found in experiments done with neurons than with astrocytes.
With this scientists can now find ways to develop CBD-based medication for neurological conditions without being concern about negative effects from cannabidiol.
Moreover combining CBD with astrocytes can be a new therapeutic approach for brain injuries.
Only medical grade CBD was used for the experiment excluding CBD and cannabis that are created for recreational use.
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Written by Vivek Roachthavilit
Special thanks to:
Advanced Science News
Food and Drug Administration
Wiley Online Library