Marijuana May Encourage Brain Cell Growth

Marijuana May Encourage Brain Cell Growth

Now that marijuana (cannabis) has permeated its negative main stream stigma, more positive research is emerging. One stigma is that marijuana is responsible for killing brain cells, causing short term memory challenges and delayed focus.

Legalized states now have years of legal marijuana brain study research to confirm more medicinal benefits of this once outlaw weed. One particular research study has shown the possibility of reversing the once advertised notion of mass cognitive cell death.

Through responsible use, learn how marijuana may encourage brain cell growth and enhance brain function beyond anything ever considered before.

Mice Get High Marks

Lab mice injected with a form of cannabis were the first to show signs of beneficial brain response regarding brain cell enhancement and possible age delay results.

As reported by Forbes,

“Researchers at the University of Bonn and Hebrew University have discovered that low, regular doses of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), one of the main active ingredients or cannabinoids found in marijuana, may help to keep our brains from ‘slowing down’ as we get older.”

The study, published in the journal Nature, states,

“Here we show that a low dose of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) reversed the age-related decline in cognitive performance of mice aged 12 and 18 months. This behavioral effect was accompanied by enhanced expression of synaptic marker proteins and increased hippocampal spine density. THC treatment restored hippocampal gene transcription patterns such that the expression profiles of THC-treated mice aged 12 months closely resembled those of THC-free animals aged 2 months.”

The study mentions “hippocampal spine density” which comes from the hippocampus, a part of the brain that possesses some interesting functions. An increase in spine density signaled some promising results in cellular health.

Hippocampus and Cannabis

The hippocampus is located deep in the brain, specifically the temporal lobe. Scientist are still discovering new things about this S-shaped structure of densely packed neurons. One thing we know is that the hippocampus, sometimes referred to as the “moral brain”, is responsible for learning, spatial orientation and short-term memory. Interestingly, the hippocampus receives direct stimuli from the olfactory bulb aka smell center. This may be connected to the results of the Bonn / Hebrew University study. Some researchers believe that the response of the lab mice may be due to THC encouraging new neuron growth in the hippocampus.

One study by researchers at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada, looked at the effects of marijuana cannabinoids on the hippocampus and surrounding brain. The journal Nature describes the process and outcome,

“The researchers injected rats with HU210, a synthetic drug that is about one-hundred times as powerful as THC, the high-inducing compound naturally found in marijuana. They then used a chemical tracer to watch new cells growing in the hippocampus. They found that HU210 seemed to induce new brain cell growth, just as some antidepressant drugs do, they report in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.”

This research may lead to more applications for medical marijuana prescriptions that apply. Growing new cells in the hippocampus through a natural, plant-based substance could potentially replace synthetic, more side-effect challenging medicines such as anti-depressants.

Neurogenic Therapy

New cell growth is called neurogenesis and it shows one of the many ways the human body is so powerful. With a wide variety of adverse conditions the brain experiences daily, it is a wonder more of us are not afflicted with brain disease. Yet, the risks remain which include:

  • Pathogens
  • Pollution
  • Poor diet
  • Lack of exercise

Small amounts of daily marijuana just may be the tool we need to strengthen the hippocampus when degeneration from these risks may occur. It is a tool that has been growing right in front of our noses, literally. Using marijuana could someday be as common as a cup of morning coffee. It might be deemed as a ‘neurogenic therapy’ similar to how healthy amounts of caffeine offer a variety of health benefits.

As regulations and laws continue to be hammered out by each participating state government, this positive research will be another validation to finally take marijuana off the federal government’s schedule one list, which includes heroin, cocaine, LSD and MDMA (ecstasy), all much stronger and more addictive than cannabis. Talk to your doctor about how marijuana may encourage brain cell growth and if a medicinal protocol could be advantageous for you.