Weed For Weight Loss And Diabetes Management
Unfortunately, weed is not the answer when it comes to weight lossnot yet, at least. While these studies are certainly interesting, I would not recommend it for that purposeafter all, there are contradictory appetite stimulating and suppressing effects of the compounds in cannabis, says Chen. Even more troubling, cannabis can have the opposite desired effect in some cases. There have been studies showing a correlation between cannabis use and an increased risk of prediabetes, which is a state where blood sugar is abnormally high and often leads to developing diabetes.
Furthermore, Chen says, there are a few studies showing a correlation between using cannabis and having a heart attack in the timeframe immediately after cannabis use. This is especially dangerous for individuals who are obese or diabetic and are at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease and heart attack.
Most medical experts have similar conclusions when discussing cannabis: There appears to be some promise, but we need more research. Chen stresses that while these studies dont do much to prove that marijuana is the key to weight loss and diabetes treatment, they inspire more researchand thats a good thing. In one study, type-2 diabetics who were treated with the cannabinoid THCV were found to have lower blood sugar and improved pancreatic function. Now researchers and pharmaceutical companies are further investigating whether this cannabinoid can aid in weight loss and treat diabetes.
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As a neuropsychologist , Schuster studies conditions and habits that can affect how the brain processes information. For the new study, her team recruited 88 Boston-area people, all 16- to 25-years old. Each reported he or she was already using marijuana at least once a week. The researchers offered 62 of these people money to quit for a month. How much money they got increased as the experiment went along. Top earners banked $585 for going a month pot-free.
These payments worked exceptionally well, says Schuster, who works at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, both in Boston. Urine tests showed that 55 of the 62 participants indeed stopped using marijuana for 30 days.
Along with regular drug tests, participants also took attention and memory tests. These included a number of tricky tasks. For example, on one test people had to closely follow number sequences. On another, they had to monitor the directions and locations of arrows.
Schuster and her team reported their findings October 30 in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.
The results suggest that pot is probably impairing young peoples ability to handle new information. But theres good news, Schuster says. These data also hint that some pot-related changes are not set in stone. By that she means some of that impairment is not permanent.
Complicated Even Before Weed Enters The Scene
Were so familiar with the way our memory works that we take it for granted. However, its an intricate web of stupendously complex processes. Memory can be roughly divided into the following three stages:
- Encoding. The information is taken in and processed.
- Storage. The information is saved for immediate use or for later .
- Retrieval. The process of recalling something or, in other words, accessing the information stored in our brains.
This sounds easy but is only a very rough approximation, and the process involves many regions of the brain most of which have a large number of cannabinoid receptors. THC and other mind-altering cannabinoids in marijuana bind to those receptors and thereby affect the way our brain and our memory work.
Another issue is marijuanas influence on the developing brain. The same way as the brain, in general, has gradually evolved in our human and non-human predecessors, so do our individual brains evolve in our skulls. They do this only ever so slowly, and the process continues into the mid-20s.
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Lowering Your Risks When Consuming Cannabis
There are risks associated with cannabis use. The best way to protect your health is to avoid using cannabis or cannabis products completely.
Cannabis can be consumed in different ways. Two common ways are:
Each way carries different health and safety risks.
Everyone’s response to cannabis is different, depending on:
- experience with cannabis, frequency of use
- consumption of food, alcohol, other drugs or health products
Everyone’s response to cannabis can also differ from one time to the next.
Research suggests that there are ways to reduce the risks:
- Use it in a safe and familiar environment and with people you trust, especially if you are inexperienced or a new user.
- Delay cannabis use until the brain is fully developed. This occurs around the age of 25.
- The earlier you begin using cannabis, the higher your risk of serious health issues, including dependence and other mental health problems.
Hypoxic Brain Damage From Overdose
Overdoses of certain substances can lead to potentially fatal neurological complications and injuries, including hypoxia, the shortage of oxygen delivery to the brain, and anoxia, meaning the total loss of oxygen that is usually due to hypoxia.17,18
Hypoxic brain injury can occur due to respiratory depression, a serious consequence of opioid overdose.19 In addition to being a particular risk with opioids , use of benzodiazepines, alcohol, or other sedatives can also lead to respiratory depression. Poly-substance use, which often involve combining substances that have depressant effects, such as opioids, sedatives, or alcohol. Combining substances in generalbut especially depressantscan have unpredictable and dangerous outcomes.19
Overdose survivors may develop a hypoxic brain injury that leads to long-lasting or even permanent damage such as short-term memory loss, stroke, mental disorientation, loss of body movement, changes in gait, incontinence, temporary leg paralysis, reduced motor skills, slowed reaction time, seizures, nerve injury, and memory impairment.20
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How Weed Causes Memory Loss
Scientists are still sorting out exactly how marijuana causes memory problems, but THC, the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, appears to be the culprit.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, studies on rodents have shown that THC alters the hippocampus, the part of the brain that processes information and creates memories.
Deterioration of the hippocampus is what causes age-related memory loss, and THC appears to accelerate this process. Rats that received THC every day for eight months lost as many brain cells in the hippocampus as rats twice their age, according to NIDA.
Shedding more light on the process, a 2012 study cited in an article by the journal Nature found that THC weakens the connections between brain cells in the hippocampus.
Question For Medical Marijuana Users
Firstly, youll need to understand the difference between long-term and short-term memories. Long-term memories are the ones that will be permanently stored on your mind. On the contrary, the short-term memories are the ones that will be temporarily stored on your mind. Your life choice has different impacts on each type of memory.
Currently, we know that Cannabis Intoxication can temporarily distort or alter short-term memory processing. This is caused by some compounds inside the Cannabis plants that temporarily disrupt brain functions that are responsible for storing the memories inside the brain. However, a recent study shows that Cannabis has a very positive impact on some neurological diseases that directly affect brain functions and memories. It was said that Cannabis can be really useful in treating diseases like Alzheimers, Huntington Chorea, Parkinsons, and epilepsy. The research also concluded that Cannabis can also play a vital role in stopping such diseases from spreading.
The most common building blocks of the Cannabis plant, THC, and Cannabinoid can interact with the neurons and interceptions inside the brain to create a euphoric effect. But, there are some risks of consuming THC. If youre using THC that does not contain any traces of CBD then youre at risk of developing severe mental health problems. However, using a balanced amount of CBD has many benefits for mental health.
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Weeks To Months After Quitting
Brain receptors return to normal function. Memory, mental acuity, and attention span improve.
Sometimes users report experiencing withdrawal symptoms, especially insomnia, up to a year after quitting.
It is common to experience cravings after quitting, especially when around people, locations, or situations that triggered past marijuana use. It is important to develop a social network with other people who do not use marijuana, drugs, or alcohol.
When Use Becomes Abuse And Then Addiction
As more research is conducted, it is becoming clearer that the younger a person begins regularly smoking weed, the more likely they are to develop a marijuana use disorder. One study indicates that kids ages 12-18 who smoke regularly maybe 4-7 times more likely to have a marijuana use problem that continues into adulthood.
A common belief is that marijuana is not and cannot be addictive, but studies are showing that large amounts of marijuana used on a daily or near-daily basis can result in addiction, and this addiction can ruin lives.
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Cb1 Receptor Weight Loss Drugs
Not surprisingly, the pharmaceutical industry has already started exploring CB1 receptor drugs as potential weight loss weapons.
In 2006, a medication called rimonabant which acted as a selective CB1 antagonist/inverse agonist was approved in 30 countries for the treatment of obesity. However, severe psychiatric side effects, including dizziness, anxiety, depression, and nausea, caused medication to be withdrawn several years later.
Current studies suggest that peripherally restricted CB1 receptor antagonists may provide therapeutic benefits in obesity without the same psychiatric side effects.
As researchers note:
A therapeutic approach that acts both peripherally and centrally on the endocannabinoid system but does not cause severe psychiatric side effects is of great interest. Peripherally restricted CB1 receptor antagonists such as URB447 and AM6545 are showing promise
Final Thoughts On Weed & Brain Cells
Not only is the weed kills brain cells theory a complete myth, but it is also the sheer opposite of reality! In certain circumstances, marijuana helps brain function, and while we are wary about adolescents using it, dozens of studies have determined that cannabis causes no long-term brain damage in adults, or drop in memory, ability to learn, etc.
Nonetheless, marijuana is still Public Enemy Number One in the eyes of some. Meanwhile, we continue to ply ourselves with alcohol even though it is proven to have a negative impact on our brain cells. A 2017 study by Thayer et al. for example, found that while chronic alcohol use was associated with lower gray matter volume and white matter integrity, the same could not be said for marijuana.
It seems that no matter how much data we have that proves marijuana doesnt kill brain cells, anti-marijuana lobbyists will always twist the information to meet their agenda, just like the infamous New Zealand IQ study.
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Simple Ways To Keep Your Brain Sharp Healthy
From a glance at the magazine stands, Americans appear obsessed with losing weight, cutting their cardiac risks and seeking to improve their odds against cancer. But wheres the focus on brain health?
The brain always has been mysterious and many people seem to believe little can be done to keep it sharp or to reduce its risk of injury and disease. Too many of us think its a matter of our genes or happenstance as to what occurs with memory loss, brain tumors, strokes and other disorders of the brain.
This may be true to some extent but the same might also be said of heart ills and many cancers. And while there may be familial predispositions, this doesnt diminish the need to take steps to improve health and reduce risk.
Keith L. Black, M.D., chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and director of the Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute, says Americans can do more to keep their minds sharp and brains healthy even as they age. His suggestions include: the simple and obvious the simple and less obvious and the simple and more obscure .
The theme is simple these are changes most people can work into their everyday lives. Examples include:
Eat a nutrient-rich diet. Deficiencies in certain vitamins have been shown to decrease memory skills. B vitamins appear to be key for concentration and memory.
If tired, nap and try to get to bed earlier. Sleep deprivation affects the brains ability to store and recall memories.
Evidence Suggests That Marijuana Doesnt Kill Brain Cells
While opponents of cannabis are quick to point out that marijuana damages the brain, many studies are now debunking the myth that marijuana kills brain cells. In fact, the cannabinoids found within marijuana may actually help rebuild them. From assisting in neurogenesis to protecting against cognitive decline and chronic stress, marijuana is a complex compound that offers a whole host of well-noted benefits.
Photo Credit: Michael
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Reporting For Elsevier Connect
is Press Officer and Associate Media Relations Manager for Cell Press , based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She began her career at Cell Press as an Senior Editorial Assistant for the journal Cell before transitioning into a role as Marketing/Publicity Coordinator. In December, she moved into her position as Press Officer for Cell Press’s 29 journals. A graduate of the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, she studied literature and art history.
News Feature: Cannabis And The Adolescent Brain
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With the use of legal marijuana proliferating, many want to understand the potential risks to teen users in particular. But thus far, definitive answers about the drugs effect on young brains have been hard to come by.
For a developmental neuroscientist, Kuei Y. Tseng gets recruited to deliver a lot of talks to the public. Parents, educators, law enforcement, and teenagers all want Tseng to educate them about a hot-button issue: how cannabis affects the adolescent brain.
Most researchers stress that despite increasingly relaxed societal views toward marijuana, cannabis useespecially in adolescenceis not benign. Image credit: Shutterstock/Yarygin.
Tseng, based at the University of Illinois in Chicago, investigates how rats respond to THC , the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. Hes found that exposure to THC or similar molecules during a specific window of adolescence delays maturation of the prefrontal cortex , a region involved in complex behaviors and decision making . The disruption alters how the area processes information when the animals are adults.
We still dont have a handle on how THC affects the adolescent brain. Theres a lot of evidence pointing toward negative outcomes, but more research needs to be done, says neuroscientist Jodi Gilman at Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA. The policy is ahead of the science.
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What Can You Do About Marijuana Dependence
Though marijuana can create a distorted sense of euphoria when consumed, this temporary state is not worth the adverse effects it entails. When abused, marijuana can become very harmful.
Stopping marijuana use may be a difficult challenge, but it is not impossible. By undergoing proper treatment and counseling, you or your loved one can live a healthier life.
When abused, marijuana can cause negatively affect the brain, causing a lot of adverse effects in both the short-term and long-term. Constant usage of marijuana can promote both brain and body deterioration.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, dont hesitate to seek help. Visit Roots Through Recovery addiction treatment center in Long Beach, CA located at 3939 Atlantic Ave, Suite 102 Long Beach, CA 90807 or call .
The Role Of Ibuprofen And Other Nsaids
The good news is that any immediate negative effects of weed on memory and cognition may be counteracted by ibuprofen and similar nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. One study on mice found that THC increases the level of an enzyme called COX-2 , and ibuprofen does the reverse it lowers COX-2 levels. Presumably, this helps mice not to forget things.
But before you decide to add a bottle of ibuprofen or some other NSAID to your secret stash, read about the side effects. According to Dr. Gundry, these over-the-counter pharmaceuticals arent so harmless after all.
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How To Prevent Cannabis
Here are some tips to help tackle memory loss when a person is high, as well as when not under the influence.
Ive been doing this as of recentlyI have a note document on my phone where I like to write down situations and hilarious jokes me or my friends made up when we were smoking weed, and it does wonders for my memory. When I read just one sentence, it completely takes me back to that specific time and place, and helps me recall what happened much more vividly. Its a good exercise for the brain, and the joke is sometimes even funnier when read the next day.
Permanent Effects Of Chronic Cannabis Use
Most long-term effects of chronic cannabis use are reversible and tend to improve within a few weeks after stopping all cannabis use. However, for some individuals, especially chronic users who started using cannabis in adolescence, changes can be long-lasting or even permanent.
Chronic use of cannabis has been associated with deficits in verbal memory, which may persist even after stopping, Dr. Perdue says. There is also a risk of psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, most pronounced among adolescents with genetic risk factors and those using highly-potent forms of cannabis.
Cannabis use disorder is a diagnosis recently introduced by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and is characterized by the presence of at least two of the following symptoms within a 12-month period.
- Taking more cannabis than intended
- Difficulty controlling cannabis use
- Withdrawal when discontinuing cannabis
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