In 1988, researchers first discovered the presence of cannabinoid receptor systems in the brains of rats. Since then, independent scientists who are not concerned with cannabis in any way at all have been trying to understand how the system works. They are also working on how cannabinoids can help to stop and remove the chronic conditions that occur as a result of the lack of these compounds. Research has discovered that a process called neurogenesis occurs by which cannabinoids cause new brain cells to grow. This process of growing new brain cells in the hippocampus especially has proven why marijuana is highly effective in treating anxiety, stress, and depression.
All the conditions mentioned previously are all related to a lack of adult neurogenesis.
The results of another study have shown that mice that do not have endocannabinoid receptors have shown signs of fast aging. Some years back, an Ohio State University (OSU) professor of neuroscience, immunology and medical genetics, Gary Wenk, said he had been trying to find a drug that will reduce brain inflammation and restore cognitive function for over a quarter of a century. And he found that cannabinoids were the only drugs that were effective. Relevant evidence has pointed to the fact that cannabinoids are very necessary for the process of aging. Another study has shown that as the brain ages, the creation and metabolism of some endocannabinoids changes.
Cannabis research is progressing.
At the University of Bonn, researchers restored the memory performance of mice at a juvenile stage. The performance of the memory reduces with old age. The brain also ages. Cognitive ability reduces with age. By the use of an elongated low-dose treatment containing a marijuana active ingredient, old animals regressed to the state of a two-month-old mouse. This will highly be useful when checking for options in treating Dementia. These results are presented in the journal Nature Medicine.
When mice do not possess any functional receptor for THC, it is discovered that the brain ages faster. But products of marijuana accumulate at the receptor. THC mimics the effect of cannabinoids produced in the body naturally that fulfills important functions in the brain. According to Professor Zimmer, as age increases, the number of cannabinoids that are naturally found in the brain decreases. When the activity of cannabinoids reduces, the brain ages sharply.
There have been endeavors by researchers to reduce or reverse the process of brain aging for years. Researchers at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel) and the University of Bonn have now achieved this process in mice. Mice have a short life expectancy and they exhibit cognitive defects by the age of 12 months. The active ingredient in marijuana, which is THC, was administered in little quantities to mice aged 2, 12 and 18 months over the period of one month.
A small dose was administered in order not to leave any intoxicating effect on the mice. Products of marijuana are allowed as medications as a pain reliever and for other purposes. The researchers wanted to know if THC reverses aging in the human brain and if it can increase cognitive activity. The mitochondria in the brain maintain proper cell function, as they are powerhouses of energy. Cannabinoids supercharge the mitochondria.
Science proves every day that It is obvious that the endocannabinoid system plays a very important role in many brain functions like pleasure, memory, appetite, cognition and immune response and sleep. Any changes occurred in our organisms reflect also changes in the ECS and age is one of the natural changes that seem to have big repercussions.
It is hoped that research on the many different medical cannabis strains will bring further good news.