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Finding Ways To Keep Up With Treatments

Can Marijuana Slow down Brain Aging?

As we grow older; our memory gets poor. Those that smoke marijuana aren’t known for good memory, but a new study suggests that drugs which have components like marijuana’s active ingredients can hold promise for decreasing or slowing down brain aging or even Alzheimer’s and other diseases which degenerate the brain.

Since the start of the decade, researchers have been studying the power of substances similar to marijuana that constitute the brain’s cannabinoid system. In experiments performed on animals, synthetic elements similar to THC, the main psychoactive component in Marijuana, have shown potential in maintaining brain functions. A study conducted in 2008 revealed that a substance much like THC diminished the inflammation and enhanced the memory in rats that were old.

The most recent review demonstrates that activating the cannabinoid System in the brain may trigger a type of anti-oxidant cleanse, eliminating damaged cells and enhancing the potency of the mitochondria which is the most important source of energy which forces the cells leading to a brain that works better. Studies conducted previously have connected cannabinoids to higher amounts of the neurotrophic factor derived from the brain. This chemical is the one which protects the cells in the brain and also promotes the development of new ones. During aging, fresh brain cells stop growing consequently, raising the BDNF could slow the decline in cognitive purposes. Activating the cannabinoid receptors can diminish the inflammation in the mind in various ways that may subsequently inhibit a number of these disease processes that cause degenerative brain diseases, for instance, Alzheimer’s.

Other studies have shown that mice that were not exposed to the cannabinoid receptors have good memory early in life but it declined rapidly as they aged. This finding indicates that at some point during the aging process, the cannabinoid process helped the mice to keep normal cognitive functions. The review though makes a disclaimer that there are no definitive studies to confirm the concept that marijuana can enhance brain functions among the older people but it is a critical area of study.

In addition to this, the analysis included in the review offered conflicting results. Even though some trials were conducted on cannabinoids for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, the studies did not give a conclusive solution on whether cannabinoids contribute to the increase or progression of the disease.

There have been both political and social challenges in conducting the studies to determine the effectiveness of marijuana in slowing down aging. This implies that it might take some time to fill the gaps left research studies done in the past. Researchers are yet to conduct a concrete study to see if those that smoke marijuana will less likely develop Alzheimer’s. They are also yet to compare the decrease in marijuana smoker’s cognitive ability to people who don’t.