Dear Dad, It’s Not All Bad; The Truth About Cannabis And Cannabanoids.

Cannabis, or commonly known as marijuana is  a type of cannabinoid.  Many of you know of it’s damaging side effects and have heard of the ongoing debate on whether to legalize marijuana.  Some of the reasons to legalize marijuana is because of medicinal purposes; they have been shown to treat Parkinson’s disease, nausea and vomiting, anorexia, spasticity, movement disorders, pain, glaucoma, epilepsy, asthma, psychiatric symptoms, and autoimmune disease.  For more information about how it helps treat these disorders you can click here, http://www.cannabis-med.org/english/patients-use.htm  Even though cannabis may help treat some of the symptoms of the above disorders, it does not go without side effects, some of these side effects are as follows; impaired coordination, distorted perceptions, difficulty thinking and problem solving, impaired learning and memory capabilities. Follow this link for more information on side effects, http://www.nida.nih.gov/infofacts/marijuana.html.

 

However, not all forms of cannabinoids are bad and cause the side effects listed above.  A form of cannabinoids that are naturally occurring in the brain, are called endocannabinoids and can actually be good for your brain.  These chemicals can actually protect some of your brain cells from injury and inflammation if they are found in the right levels in the brain.  Found in too low of levels and they don’t properly protect the cells from death, if they are in too high of levels it causes something called excitotoxicity. Excitotoxicity is also a form of cell death caused by over stimulation.   Therefore we need to make sure that we remain in the right range for endocannabinoids.

Now people may be thinking that they could just raise their levels of cannabis in the brain with marijuana, however the levels of the chemical found in marijuana that actually help protect the brain are found in much too high of levels and cause the greater cell death.