It is easy to identify the biggest lie told about medical marijuana for those who knows science. But, by far, one of the most pervasive lies about marijuana is that it kills brain…
According to the Dr. David Bearman, M.D. who specializes in painmanagement, harm reduction, and medical cannabis:
THERE ARE MORE THAN 5.3 MILLION PEOPLE IN THE U.S. LIVING WITH DISABILITIES RELATED TO TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY (TBI). EVERY YEAR, THERE ARE NEARLY 56,000 DEATHS AND APPROXIMATELY 80,000 CASES OF SEVERE DISABILITY RELATED TO TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURIES IN THE UNITED STATES. BECAUSE CANNABIS AND CANNABINOIDS ARE NEUROPROTECTIVE, THEIR USE COULD DECREASE THE INCIDENCE OF BOTH TBI AND STROKE FROM TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY. THAT IS BECAUSE CANNABINOIDS CAN PREVENT NEURONAL CELL DEATH.
That needs to be repeated: “Сannabinoids prevent neuronal cell death!”
Moreover, there is no effective pharmaceutical drug that treats traumatic brain injury to decrease the size of the damage caused by stroke or TBI. If it is administered within three hours of a TBI, tPA can dissolve blood clots involved in stroke. Having cannabis on board can limit damage from bloodloss, but there still may be brain damage.
According to Dr. Esther Shohami, a colleague of Mechoulam’s, from the leading research laboratory in the world on the effects of cannabis and cannabinoids on the brain and the endocannabinoid system at Hebrew University in Israel.
“THE SECONDARY EFFECTS OF BRAIN INJURIES, SUCH AS SWELLING AND THE RELEASE OF TOXIC CHEMICALS, CAN BE MORE DAMAGING THAN THE INITIAL BLOW.” A SYNTHETIC, DEXABINOL, HAS BEEN SHOWN TO TREAT NEURO INFLAMMATORY DISORDER. DEXABINOL WAS DEVELOPED BY DR. MECHOULAM.
What causes the damage?
It turns out that during decreased blood flow, large quantities of the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate are released. This can cause neuronal death by over-stimulating two or three different receptors and results in both metabolic stress and accumulation of toxic levels of intracellular calcium. Studies have shown that glutamate toxicity may be prevented by antioxidants. Cannabidiol (CBD), THC, and other cannabinoids proved to be antioxidants.
How to prevent it?
Cannabis and cannabinoids like CBD have been shown to limit the damage caused by ischemic brain injury. THC and its psychoactive analogs also have been reported to be neuroprotective against in vitro glutamate toxicity.
It was suggested to try Cannabinoids to prevent glutamate neurotoxicity by activating cannabinoid receptors, which reduces calcium influx through voltage-sensitive calcium channels.
What Cannabinoids Do to Protect the Brain?
There are two types of cannabinoids:
- those sourced from the cannabis plant (the phytocannabinoids)
- and those made by the human body (the endogenous cannabinoids).
Both work on the endocannabinoid system, a neural network found on the central and peripheral nervous system that regulates essential human functions like pain, mood, digestion, sleep and appetite.
It is believed that the endogenous cannabinoid 2-AG works in four ways:
- it reduces the level of glutamate,
- decreases free radicals,
- decreases TNF
- and increases blood flow to the brain.
All four mechanisms limit the cellular damage after the primary insult of the brain.
THE NEUROPROTECTIVE ACTIONS OF CBD AND OTHER CANNABINOIDS WERE STUDIED IN RAT CORTICAL NEURON CULTURE. RAT CORTICAL NEURON CULTURES WERE EXPOSED TO TOXIC LEVELS OF GLUTAMATE. THE EXCITATORY NEUROTRANSMITTER OVERPRODUCTION OF GLUTAMATE BECOMES EXCITOTOXIC AND KILLS NEURONS. CBD AND THC FOUND IN CANNABIS BLOCK THIS OVERPRODUCTION SO THAT GLUTAMATE TOXICITY IS REDUCED.
So, rather than killing brain cells cannabis actually limits the damage of the brain caused by TBI. The allegation that cannabis use harms the brain is not based on science—that is unless you will deprive monkeys of oxygen by putting gas masks on them and replacing the oxygen with smoke.
IN THE CASE OF THAT “RESEARCH” WE KNOW DEPRIVING THE BRAIN OF OXYGEN ACTUALLY CAUSES BRAIN DAMAGE. NOT CANNABIS.
As we can see, cannabis has shown itself to be an alternative to opiates, to treat ADD, ADHD, all Autism Spectrum Disorder, autoimmune disorders and even ameliorate some of the symptoms of PTSD. Also known, since 1974, that cannabis can and do kill cancer cells!
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