Read in Spanish
Can cannabis really improve brain function?
For many people who support cannabis prohibition, they base their arguments on an unscientific conception that its use is frequently associated with deterioration in cognitive abilities.
However, a recent study from McLean Hospital in Massachusetts and published in Frontiers in Pharmacology found new evidence to prove otherwise.
The study consisted of a follow-up analysis of 22 medical cannabis patients whose objective was to monitor for 3 months how the brain performs activities and develops in different patterns.
The brain activity in this study of participants showed that after these three months, the analyzes were similar to the group of people who did not consume cannabis in this study.
This suggests that medicinal cannabis has the potential to normalize brain function relative to the baseline and recover brain function that it previously had.
In other words, there is no significant deterioration due to medium-term use according to this study.
As well as improving brain function, the researchers noted that this was perhaps one of the main reasons why participants reported a decrease in the use of benzodiazepines, particularly opiates during the three months of such treatment.
These 22 patients (11 men) and (11 women) between the ages of 28 74 years reported that they were looking for cannabis to treat a variety of conditions including pain 13 people anxiety or post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) sleep (10 people) humor (8 people) and 8 others of them other conditions related to the gastrointestinal tract, the difficulty of tension among others.
During the interviews the patients reported “significant improvements” in depression, impulsivity, sleep or simple quality of life.
Likewise, the patients studied showed a significant improvement in the dual constructions such as energy and fatigue, as well as, less limitation in the physical condition which improved their labor relations and daily activities.
“Patients reported a remarkable growth in the use of benzodiazepine opioids, antidepressants or mood stabilizers.” it reads in the study.
The researchers believe that it is possible that the reduction in these conventional treatments has also influenced changes in the activated brain patterns.
Therefore, researchers believe that medicinal cannabis could help patients to leave some dangerous or addictive pharmaceutical drugs that can can negatively affect sumall while giving them a paltry relief to their pain.
New study on the way
Although at the moment we only have information about the first three months of these patients, a study that will study the effect of cannabis on cognition and brain functioning will be prolonged in a course of 12 to 24 months.
In this way, researchers can check the differences in the use of cannabis or people who use it for a condition of those who use it occasionally for reasons not necessarily medicinal.
However, the results have shown that we can improve brain function and stop using some drugs with high side effects, but also patients report changes in quality of life and happiness.
Medical cannabis has been approved in some countries of the world by medical prescription, but few people have access to it so far. Whether privately or informally, however, generally the cannabis-based medicines that are authorized in the health system are very expensive for the general population and, therefore, the last ones that they use.