THC and Neuroplasticity

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Cannabis research popularity has steadily increased within the past few years. Recently, studies on THC and the brain show that THC may offer protection to the brain.

In a recent study published in September 2012, researchers were able to determine that a single ultra-low dosage of THC (.002mg/kg) protected the brain from a number of cognitive deficits if applied 1-7 days before or 1-3 days after a neuronal insult. Cognitive deficit insults that were tested on were: repeated exposure to MDMA (ectasy), carbon monoxide exposure, anesthesia caused by pentobarbital, an anesthetic that is used in executions. They found that one THC treatment protected the brain from these deficits for 7 weeks.

This is a significant study because neuroplasticity serves for healthy development, learning, memory, and damage recovery for the brain. It allows the brain to develop over time. Neuroplasticity occurs when responding to experiences consisting of Neurogenesis, the creation of neurons, and Neurodegeration, the death of neurons, in the brain. Although this study was conducted 3 years ago, research is still in progress.

Medical Jane article