Cannabis research has been uncovering its many potential health benefits. CBD is being used to help treat pain and inflammation, and THC is said to relieve anxiety and other mental illnesses. But what else can this powerful plant offer us? Recent studies have uncovered cannabis’s potential for neuroprotective properties.
Here at Highgrade Labs, we believe in the power of cannabis education and its ability to help remove the stigma. In this blog, we are going to discover how cannabis interacts with the body and how potential neuroprotective properties can help us.
Cannabinoids are chemical compounds found in cannabis plants. They can also be produced naturally within the human body, and those cannabinoids are called endocannabinoids. The endocannabinoid system, composed of receptors, enzymes, and endocannabinoids, helps regulate various bodily processes, including mood, pain perception, appetite, and immune function.
Cannabinoids interact with these receptors, influencing the endocannabinoid system’s activity. Basically, cannabinoids can act as on and off switches of the endocannabinoid system.
Two of the most well-known cannabinoids are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is primarily responsible for the psychoactive effects associated with cannabis use. On the other hand, CBD is non-intoxicating and has gained attention for its potential therapeutic properties.
While THC and CBD are the most studied cannabinoids, there are many others, such as cannabinol (CBN), cannabigerol (CBG), and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), each with its unique properties and potential benefits.
What are neuroprotective properties?
Neuroprotection plays a vital role in maintaining the health and functionality of the nervous system. Neuroprotection refers to the preservation and defense of neurons, the building blocks of the nervous system, from damage, degeneration, or dysfunction. Neuroprotection aims to prevent or minimize the loss of neurons as well as preserve their structure and function. By doing so, it helps to maintain optimal brain health and cognitive abilities.
When a compound has neuroprotective properties, it means that it has the potential to slow the progression of various neurological disorders, enhance recovery after injury, and improve overall neurological outcomes. Examples of neurological diseases that would benefit from neuroprotective properties include Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, stroke, multiple sclerosis (MS), and traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Does cannabis have neuroprotective properties?
Cannabis has been a subject of interest in the realm of neuroprotection, with preclinical and human studies shedding light on its potential therapeutic properties. Let’s explore:
Animal & Laboratory Studies
- Preclinical studies involving animals and laboratory models have provided valuable insights into the potential neuroprotective effects of cannabis. Researchers have examined the impact of cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, on various aspects of neuroprotection.
- These studies have explored the role of cannabinoids in reducing inflammation, reducing oxidative stress (a cellular imbalance of free radicals), and addressing neurodegenerative diseases. Findings suggest that cannabinoids may hold promise in protecting neurons from damage and promoting overall brain health.
- Animal and laboratory studies have yielded encouraging results regarding the potential of cannabis in reducing inflammation and oxidative stress, both of which play significant roles in neurodegenerative diseases. Cannabinoids have shown promise in reducing inflammatory responses and limiting the production of free radicals, thus potentially mitigating damage to neurons.
- Additionally, research has highlighted the potential of cannabinoids in addressing neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, offering hope for disease management and progression.
- While preclinical studies provide valuable insights, it is crucial to acknowledge the limitations and challenges in translating these findings to human use. Factors such as differences in physiology, metabolism, and drug interactions need to be carefully considered.
- Moreover, preclinical studies often involve higher doses of cannabinoids, which may not be applicable or safe for human use. Additionally, the complexity of neurodegenerative diseases requires comprehensive and rigorous clinical investigations to determine the efficacy, safety, and optimal dosages of cannabis-based interventions.
- Moving from preclinical studies to human research, numerous studies have explored the neuroprotective effects of cannabis. These investigations have focused on conditions such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis (MS), Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease.
- Some studies have demonstrated positive outcomes, indicating the potential benefits of cannabis in reducing seizure frequency, reducing spasticity and pain in multiple sclerosis, and alleviating symptoms in neurodegenerative diseases.
- Notably, CBD-based medications have gained regulatory approval for specific forms of epilepsy, highlighting the clinical use of cannabis-derived compounds.
- CBD-based medications have emerged as a significant development in the field of neuroprotection. These medications, derived from cannabis or hemp, have been approved by regulatory authorities for the treatment of specific neurological conditions.
- For instance, CBD-based drugs have shown efficacy in reducing seizures in severe forms of epilepsy such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. These approvals highlight the potential of cannabis-derived compounds as targeted therapeutic options in the realm of neuroprotection.
These studies show promising potential for neuroprotective properties in cannabis; however, it is essential to continue conducting comprehensive clinical trials to establish the safety, efficacy, and optimal dosing of cannabis-based interventions.
Highgrade Labs — Providing Cannabis Knowledge & Unmatched Cannabinoid Lab Testing Services
Cannabinoids, with their interaction with the endocannabinoid system, offer a fascinating avenue for potential neuroprotective effects. While THC and CBD are the most widely studied cannabinoids, ongoing research explores the properties of other cannabinoids. However, it is essential to approach this topic with caution and rely on evidence-based research.
Further studies are needed to fully understand the mechanisms and therapeutic potential of cannabinoids for neuroprotection. With continued research and exploration, cannabinoids may hold promise as a novel approach to promoting brain health and protecting against neurological conditions, enhancing individuals’ quality of life, and bringing hope to individuals affected by neurological disorders.
Want to learn more about how cannabis interacts with the body? Check out our blogs on the entourage effect and cannabis and Parkinson’s Disease. Connect with us on our various social media channels for all the latest Highgrade updates! (Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram)
*Always consult a physician before making any changes to your health or fitness regimen.