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benefits of cannabis on the brain

Recent studies from Israel shows that smoking marijuana remarkably reduces pains and tremors and improves sleep for Parkinson’s disease patients. What was impressive about the research was the improvement of the fine motor skills among patients.

Smoking marijuana is able to calm to calm the attacks almost immediately, relaxing the mucles of the diaphragm also.

6. Ease the pain of multiple sclerosis

The doctors who are recommending this medication say that the cannabidiol in the plant interacts with the brain cells to quiet the excessive activities in the brain that causes the seizures.

In the writings, the focus was mainly on its power as a medication for rheumatism, gout, malaria, and funny enough, for absent-mindedness. The importance of medicinal value was focused mainly than the intoxication properties.

Harvard professor emeritus of psychiatry and marijuana advocate Lester Grinspoon recently wrote an open letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodall, saying that NFL should stop testing players for marijuana, and instead should fund for research on marijuana plant’s ability to protect the brain.

Several studies, including two large longitudinal studies, suggest that marijuana use can cause functional impairment in cognitive abilities but that the degree and/or duration of the impairment depends on the age when a person began using and how much and how long he or she used. 41

A large longitudinal study in New Zealand found that persistent marijuana use disorder with frequent use starting in adolescence was associated with a loss of an average of 6 or up to 8 IQ points measured in mid-adulthood. 43 Those who used marijuana heavily as teenagers and quit using as adults did not recover the lost IQ points. People who only began using marijuana heavily in adulthood did not lose IQ points. Two shorter-duration prospective longitudinal twin studies found that youth who used marijuana showed significant declines in verbal ability (equivalent to 4 IQ points) and general knowledge between the preteen years (ages 9 to 12, before use) and late adolescence/early adulthood (ages 17 to 20); however those who went on to use marijuana at older ages already had lower scores on these measures at the start of the study, before they started using the drug. Also, no predictable difference was found between twins when one used marijuana and one did not. 44

Among nearly 4,000 young adults in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study tracked over a 25-year period until mid-adulthood, cumulative lifetime exposure to marijuana was associated with lower scores on a test of verbal memory but did not affect other cognitive abilities such as processing speed or executive function. The effect was sizable and significant even after eliminating those involved with current use and after adjusting for confounding factors such as demographic factors, other drug and alcohol use, and other psychiatric conditions such as depression. 42

Substantial evidence from animal research and a growing number of studies in humans indicate that marijuana exposure during development can cause long-term or possibly permanent adverse changes in the brain. Rats exposed to THC before birth, soon after birth, or during adolescence show notable problems with specific learning and memory tasks later in life. 32–34 Cognitive impairments in adult rats exposed to THC during adolescence are associated with structural and functional changes in the hippocampus. 35–37 Studies in rats also show that adolescent exposure to THC is associated with an altered reward system, increasing the likelihood that an animal will self-administer other drugs (e.g., heroin) when given an opportunity (see “Is marijuana a gateway drug?”).

More research will be needed to answer definitively whether marijuana use causes long-term IQ losses and whether factors that weren’t measured in the prior research, such as the increasing amounts of THC in cannabis and the emergence of new cannabis products, are relevant.

In a 2017 clinical trial of 88 patients with schizophrenia, researchers in the U.K. administered 1,000 milligrams of CBD each day to about half of the study participants. They took the supplement along with their typical regimen of antipsychotic medications. At the end of six weeks of treatment, the people who received CBD reported greater alleviation of symptoms than those who only stuck to their normal medications.

“Recreational consumers and medical users just aren’t the same,” she says. “The goal of use is totally different.”

To date, only a few medications — dronabinol, nabilone and cannabidiol — have received FDA approval. But they’re intended for use by a select group of patients: those with rare forms of epilepsy, those who have side effects from chemotherapy or those with severe weight loss caused by AIDS. Dronabinol and nabilone, which are both oral synthetic forms of cannabis, are defined as Schedule II and III drugs. That means the DEA sees a moderate to high potential for dependence or abuse, although certain patients are still allowed to use the drug for its medicinal benefits. In 2018, a CBD-derived oral medication called Epidiolex was approved as a Schedule V, meaning it is regulated as a drug with the least potential for abuse.

Mind Under Matter

While a handful of studies have found marijuana to be a potential treatment for the pain and spasticity that come with multiple sclerosis (MS), not all clinical research shows a benefit.

And the research landscape, so far, is about as complicated as the drug itself. Some studies show that marijuana may provide relief for patients with a slew of conditions, such as anxiety, chronic pain and even cancer. Yet others find that the drug can slow cognitive function and may worsen some mental health conditions.

Our understanding of marijuana’s effect on mental health is murky. Some studies suggest it might exacerbate conditions like schizophrenia or psychosis, but the results aren’t always black and white.

In a 2011 report on recreational users, Gruber and her team recruited 34 chronic marijuana smokers and divided them into two groups according to when they started using. They were then given a number of cognitive tests. The team found that those in the study who started using marijuana before age 16 had the worst test performances — and smoked twice as often as other users.