THC Can Prevent Brain Damage – Study

“Marijuana became popular as a recreational drug and as its legalization movement became more popular, studies were conducted on its therapeutic properties. Medical cannabis is often used by sufferers of chronic ailments, including cancer and post-traumatic stress disorder, to combat pain, insomnia, lack of appetite, and other symptoms. But self-reported milder symptoms often claim that only marijuana helps…

Prof. Yosef Sarne in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at Tel Aviv University says that the drug can go beyond symptoms – it also has neuroprotective qualities. He has found that extremely low doses of THC — the psychoactive component of marijuana — protects the brain from long-term cognitive damage in the wake of injury from hypoxia (lack of oxygen), seizures, or toxic drugs…

The use of THC can prevent long-term cognitive damage that results from brain injury, the researchers conclude…

According to Sarne, there are several practical benefits to this treatment plan. Due to the long therapeutic time window, this treatment can be used not only to treat injury after the fact, but also to prevent injury that might occur in the future. For example, cardiopulmonary heart-lung machines used in open heart surgery carry the risk of interrupting the blood supply to the brain, and the drug can be delivered beforehand as a preventive measure. In addition, the low dosage makes it safe for regular use in patients at constant risk of brain injury, such as epileptics or people at a high risk of heart attack.

Sarne is now working with Prof. Edith Hochhauser of the Rabin Medical Center to test the ability of low doses of THC to prevent damage to the heart. Preliminary results indicate that they will find the same protective phenomenon in relation to cardiac ischemia, in which the heart muscle receives insufficient blood flow.”

More: http://www.science20.com/news_articles/thc_can_prevent_brain_damage_study-113512

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