The human brain, like any other organ within the body, is susceptible to the ravages of disease, injury and time. Although it is encased in bone and protected with a blood-brain barrier, your brain health is ultimately reliant on your lifestyle, your genetics and your cardiovascular health.
Vascular risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes, are honest predictors of your brain health. But in addition to your vascular health, your brain’s neuronal health is of extreme importance as well. Your brain is constantly rewiring itself, replacing damaged neurons, removing synaptic toxins, fighting off cellular inflammation and mitigating the damaging effects of oxidation on its delicate tissues.
Many disease states that effect your brain are believed to stem, in part, from cytotoxins that generate inflammation, oxidation and eventually result in neuronal death. Poor brain health is also tied to many of the leading causes of death in the U.S. 10
So it’s time to start paying attention to your brain health and learn more about what supports a healthy brain. Let’s take a peak at some of the science behind why marijuana (cannabis) is proving to be, good for you and your brain.
Cannabis – Good for You and Your Brain
The cannabis plant maintains a complex phytochemistry (plant chemistry), with well over 100 known bio-active phytocannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids. With such a complex mix of phytochemistry, the opportunities for discovery are seemingly endless.
Neuroprotective Agents | 30 second video
Researchers are investigating the therapeutic potential of several of the phytocannabinoids commonly found in medical marijuana. Phytocannabinoids such as THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), THCV/THV (Tetrahydrocannabivarin), CBD (cannabidiol), CBDV (cannabidivarin), and CBG (cannabigerol) have all demonstrated therapeutic value as powerful neuroprotective agents [Hayakawa, K Pharmaceuticals (Basel)].8 Cannabinoids are potent anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant compounds, and have the potential to prevent illness, heal brain tissue and to save lives
THC, in combination with CBD, has been found effective in treating and easing the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). MS is a progressive and immune-mediated disease of the central nervous system (CNS). Commonly diagnosed during young adulthood, MS effects more than 2 million worldwide. Along with anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, and anti-oxidant effects, CBD and THC together, can be highly effective in reducing the pain and muscle spasticity associated with MS.
Sativex, a drug based on a fixed 1:1 ratio of THC:CBD in a oromucosal spray, is so far the one and only cannabinoid approved internationally (Canada, UK, Europe and more) as an adjunctive treatment for MS induced spasticity. Sativex is still awaiting FDA approval in the U.S.