THC Can Protect From Brain Deficits


Cannabis research has continued to grow in popularity in recent years, and it has recently been suggested that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) offers protection for the brain.
In a study published in September 2012, researchers caused injuries to the brains of mice with:
Repeated exposure to MDMA (ecstasy)
Carbon monoxide exposure
Anesthesia caused by pentobarbital, an anesthetic which is sometimes used for execution.
They also administered a single ultra-low dosage of the cannabinoid THC (.002mg/kg) either:
1-7 days before the brain injury, or
1-3 days after the brain injury
The researchers found that the single ultra-low doses of THC were protective against injury to neurons (i.e. cells of the nervous system that transmit signals, resulting in thinking, memory, movement, etc.).
Neuroplasticity Is Encouraged By THC
The role of neuroplasticity (i.e. the way that the brain develops over time) is widely recognized in healthy development, learning, memory, and recovery from brain damage. It occurs in response to experiences and consists of neurogenesis (neuron creation) and neurodegeneration (neuron death). There a number of ways in which Neuroplasticity is measure and they were the focus of this study from Israel. It was performed by Sackler Faculty of Medicine.
Extracellular-signal-regulated kinases (ERKs) are protein enzymes that modify other proteins. They’re involved in regulating the processes involved with cell differentiation. Researchers observed the amount of ERKs in the brain and found long-lasting differences within the hippocampus (involved in memory integration), frontal cortex (involved in planning, judging, personality, etc.), and cerebellum (involved in regulating balance, attention, etc.).


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