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The Endocannabinoid System and the Brain

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in the project Convention on Biological DiversityWe often write about how cannabis and the broader endocannabinoid system help maintain homeostasis in the body and influence physical health in myriad ways. But this vast system of cellular receptors, ligands (compounds that bind to these receptors), and enzymes also influence mental health, cognition, emotion, and other processes found directly in the brain.

type 1 cannabinoid receptorsCB1) is probably the most abundant G-protein-coupled receptor throughout the central nervous system.1And2 the wider family GPCRIncludes nearly 750 different receptors,3 Approximately 150 of these are targeted by pharmaceuticals, which account for more than a third of all approved drugs in the United States and Europe.4

CB1 It is present in very high levels in many areas of the brain, including the cerebellum and hippocampus.5 and distributed to lower levels in general6 It helps in modulating neurotransmitter release.7 Among other functions. a key CB1 agonists, which activate the receptor to produce a variety of cellular responses, include endogenous cannabinoids and 2-AG The phytocannabinoid THC.

So it’s really no wonder that cannabis, as well as the various foods and activities that boost the endocannabinoid system (ECS), can have a clear positive effect on brain function. Although there is still much to learn, recently released research papers report a growing range of beneficial effects.


A speech fluency disorder, sometimes called a stutter, affects about 5% of children. It is successfully managed or eliminated in most patients with standardized therapies, including speech therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and relaxation techniques. But for some, the condition is more difficult. a Case Study Published in the magazine Hemp and hemp research8 In late July he tells the story of a 20-year-old man with treatment-resistant stutter who finally finds relief through cannabis.

The authors – from the Medical University of Warsaw in Poland and Hannover Medical School in Germany – reported that besides speech fluency, the patient experienced improvements in mood, attention, focus, sleep and self-confidence, as well as reduced social anxiety and stress. . No adverse side effects have been reported, and efficacy has not decreased over time.


Cannabis can also successfully treat the neuropsychiatric symptoms of dementia, according to a review published in July by a team of Brazilian researchers in Trends in psychiatry and psychotherapy.9And10 Based on an analysis of 15 previous studies with original clinical data, the authors concluded that management of THCAnd Convention on Biological DiversityThe synthetic cannabinoid drugs dronabinol and nabilone have generally yielded positive results for patients with moderate to advanced stages of dementia.

In particular, the treatments seem to help with agitation, aggressive behavior, sleep, and sexual inhibition. “Many pharmacological details have yet to be determined, such as doses, duration of treatment, and concentrations of active compounds (for example, Convention on Biological Diversity/THC ratio) in commercial preparations of medical cannabis,” the authors write.


Here’s another situation that cannabis may help solve and that we hope we won’t encounter again anytime soon: social isolation due to lockdown during the pandemic. A team of researchers based at the University of Padua in northern Italy, near the place Corona virus disease– Introduced her first terrifying platform, and suggested a new place paper for the magazine Frontiers in Psychiatry11 Behaviors known to improve endocannabinoid tone can help individuals comply with emergency public health measures such as closure while reducing negative psychosomatic effects.

Drawing on current knowledge of the relationship between the effects of social isolation in animals and the function of the endocannabinoid system, the authors suggest that ECS– promoting “lifestyle interventions” such as probiotics, Convention on Biological DiversityMeditation and exercise can make individuals less susceptible to fearful, negative thoughts and aggressive behavior during stressful times such as lockdown or quarantine. These healing methods also prevent other biological reactions that can lead to health complications.

Social interaction and stimulation in mice

Two studies published in August indicate that the increase ECS Activity is also associated with improved social interaction and motivation, at least in mice. In the first study, published in a Hemp and hemp researchAnd12 Researchers in Italy fed mice an extract of a ‘non-psychoactive’ substance.THCAnd Convention on Biological DiversityContain cannabis – mainly cannabis – for two weeks, to see what kind of behavioral effect it had. While the researchers did not note any effect on movement or anxiety, they did note an increase in social interaction.

in a second study Posted in Neuroscience JournalAnd13 Researchers at the Universities of New Mexico, Minnesota, and Maryland used monoacyl glycerol lipase (MajelInhibitor to increase endocannabinoid 2- levelsAG In mice, the effect on target search was measured. They found that chronic Majel Therapy “facilitates goal-seeking” – an outcome that “supports cannabis-based therapies for treatment of motivational disorders.”

So much for the lazy stoner.

Nate Seltenrich, a freelance science journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area, covers a wide range of topics including environmental health, neuroscience, and pharmacology.

Copyright, Project Convention on Biological Diversity. It may not be reprinted without So.


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