Researchers have identified 35 genes associated with cannabis use. The study reports many of these genes are also associated with personality types, risk taking behavior, alcohol and tobacco use, and some psychiatric conditions.
Cannabinol, an active ingredient in cannabis, can help protect brain cells from oxidative damage and preserve mitochondrial function.
Researchers report adolescent cannabis use alters the structural development of the prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain that helps control higher cognitive functions.
Multiple sclerosis patients are nine times more likely to discuss the use of alternative medicines, including cannabis, with their neurologists as treatment options than they were in 2001. 81% of MS patients report the use of dietary supplements to help with disease management, and 39% report participating in mindfulness and other mind-body therapies. 30% of patients reported using marijuana to help treat their symptoms.
Every month, up to 6.4 million searches related to cannabidiol (CBD) are performed by American adults looking to obtain information or buy products. CBD search queries eclipse those for other natural medical alternatives by a significant percentage.
Exposing mice to THC, researchers noted persistent activation of mitochondrial cannabinoid receptors located within astrocytes resulted in a cascade of molecular processing that led to dysfunctional glucose metabolism. The ability of astrocytes to transform glucose into "food" for neurons was reduced. The reduction resulted in a compromise in neural function, with a harmful impact on behavior. Specifically, social interactions were reduced for 24 hours post cannabis exposure.
Researchers say there is currently insufficient evidence for the safety and efficacy of medical marijuana as a treatment for sleep apnea.
Examining the brains of frequent cannabis users, researchers have identified a pattern of connectivity related to craving the substance. The findings add weight to the idea that brain regions do not work in isolation, but via the connectivity of multiple networks that signal to each other depending on state and need. Brain connectivity during cannabis cravings is not static but has fluctuations in connection patterns between the central executive network and nucleus accumbens.
A new study considers the medical benefits of using marijuana to help treat epilepsy which can not be controlled with standard anticonvulsants.
A study using rat models of depression reveals a single dose of the cannabis extract CBD can help to reduce symptoms of depression for up to one week. Researchers say cannabidiol appears to activate mechanisms that help repair neural circuitry in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, which get damaged as a result of depression.