The search for the magical elixir stops right here. Cannabis just might be the fountain of youth we’ve all been looking for.
There’s more evidence now suggesting that the endocannabinoid system has an important role to play in different aspects of the aging process. Consuming cannabis regularly may be just what we need to slow down aging. No invasive surgery, no botox, no crazy diets, no magic drinks, and no supplements.
We typically get our antioxidants from food sources and supplements, especially foods that are high in vitamins C and E. All of these are great sources of antioxidants but cannabis is just as powerful.
Cannabis Prevents Aging of the Brain
As we get older, the signs of aging can’t be ignored. The most obvious signs of aging may appear on our exterior: wrinkles, saggy skin, or the growth of gray and white hairs. Less obvious changes are happening at the same time, even if we aren’t noticing, such as the aging of the brain.
Brain aging leads to a variety of neurodegenerative disorders, which is why conditions such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Multiple Sclerosis is more common among the elderly. Cognitive decline worsens with age and is manifested by memory loss, difficulty paying attention, and difficulty with orientation among many others.
There is an increasing body of evidence supporting the efficacy of cannabis as a neuroprotective agent that can slow down, and in some cases even reverse, the effects of aging on the brain.
Cannabis Protects The Brain From Age-Related Toxicity
Our brain cells use up a lot of energy to transmit information throughout other parts of the body. All this activity creates oxidative stress which, over time, slows down the functioning of the brain. Aging brains also tend to accumulate too much glutamate, a transmitter that helps with nerve cell signaling. Once glutamate leads to cellular damage, it turns into an excitotoxin. Excitotoxicity is thought of as a major contributor to many of the neurodegenerative disorders of the central nervous system that plague the elderly today.
In one study of mice, cannabidiol (CBD) was “demonstrated to reduce hydroperoxide toxicity in neurons. In a head to head trial of the abilities of various antioxidants to prevent glutamate toxicity, cannabidiol was superior to both alpha-tocopherol and ascorbate in protective capacity.”
Neural inflammation can also cause chronic oxidative stress, as well as occur as a result of it. Also referred to as neuroinflammation, this condition is present in neurodegenerative diseases. In a study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, scientists discovered that CBD is effective in reducing neural inflammation in mice administered with amyloid-β (Aβ), a protein which is thought to contribute to neural cell death in patients of Alzheimer’s. Another study conducted at the University of South Florida found that extremely low doses of THC was also beneficial in reducing amyloid-β (Aβ) production. “THC is known to be a potent antioxidant with neuroprotective properties, but this is the first report that the compound directly affects Alzheimer’s pathology by decreasing amyloid beta levels, inhibiting its aggregation, and enhancing mitochondrial function,” says Chuanhai Cao, PhD; lead author of the study.
Cannabis, The ECS, and Skin Aging
Aside from the mental benefits of cannabis in slowing down the aging process, it can also prevent the physical signs of aging on the skin. The endocannabinoid system contributes to healthy skin, and any dysfuction in the system can lead to neurodegenerative diseases. A study published in the scientific journal Neurobiology of Aging showed that mice who were bred to not have any CB-1 receptors showed signs of early neurodegeneration. The skin of the mice also showed histological changes, as their elasticity resembled those found in older mice.
We typically get our antioxidants from food sources and supplements, especially foods that are high in vitamins C and E. All of these are great sources of antioxidants but cannabis is just as powerful, and can be a much more potent remedy to slow down the aging process especially when you consider the unique combination of other beneficial terpenes, flavonoids, and cannabinoids that are present in the plant. When you combine this with cannabis’ anti-inflammatory properties, it’s clear that consuming cannabis is much more beneficial for your overall health than supplements you can buy off the shelf.