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Scientists Discover Another Way Marijuana Helps The Brain Grow

By on July 13, 2013
Research shows for the first time that CBD, like THC, can promote the growth of brain cells.

Research shows for the first time that CBD, like THC, can promote the growth of brain cells

TruthOnPot.com – In 2005, Canadian researchers made a groundbreaking discovery that would forever discredit the myth that marijuana causes brain damage. What they found was an opposite effect. That is, THC – the main chemical in marijuana and the reason why users get ‘high’ – can actually cause new brain cells to grow.

The process of brain growth is called neurogenesis and does not usually improve with drug use. Marijuana use is a different story, explained Xia Zhang, M.D, Ph.D., associate professor at the University of Saskatchewan and lead author of the study:

“Most ‘drugs of abuse’ suppress neurogenesis. Only marijuana promotes neurogenesis.”

Still, THC is not the only chemical found in marijuana and, eight years later, a team from Brazil is giving marijuana users more reason to celebrate. Their study, published in the July issue of The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, shows that cannabidiol (CBD) can help your brain grow too.

Looking to investigate the effects of CBD on anxiety and depression in rodents, the researchers went to the source – a part of the brain called the hippocampus. The hippocampus regulates emotion and cognitive function and is also the only area of the adult brain that can grow.

The hippocampus plays a role in emotion, memory, and learning.

The hippocampus plays a role in emotion, memory, and learning.

While previous studies have found CBD to have beneficial effects on anxiety and depression, the new study is the first to explain why.

What the scientists found was that CBD, just like THC, also causes brain cells in the hippocampus to grow. This, they say, could explain why previous studies identified CBD as an effective treatment for mood disorders.

“Our results indicate that chronic CBD administration, by promoting neurogenesis, favours a similar anxiolytic response in stressed mice.”

Likewise, other studies have linked depression, anxiety and stress – and even problems with learning and memory – to a lack of adult neurogenesis. Although this can be brought on by frequent substance use (expect for marijuana), neurogenesis also slows down naturally as you age.

But now there is hope, says the team from Brazil. A new understanding of how the brain reacts to CBD, along with other compounds in marijuana, “opens the door for their use to manage psychiatric symptoms in disorders such as ageing, stress and neuroinflammation.”

The study was led by Ismael Galve-Roperh of the Centro de Investigacion Biomedica en Red sobre Enfermedades Neurodegenerativas (CIBERNED), Instituto de Universitario de Investigacion en Neuroquımica (IUIN) and Instituto Ramon y Cajal de Investigacion Sanitaria (IRYCIS)

  • claygooding

    Wouldn’t it be something if they found out the reason man’s brain grew so much bigger than other mammals with similar mass was due to the early introduction of hemp into his diet? That is what my quip “Mankind has used hemp since a caveman threw a funny looking bush on the fire and the clan ate a brontosaurus in one nite instead of a week” is about.
    I believe our bodies have a multitude of cannabinoid receptors in them for a reason and I think man’s early use of cannabis is why we have them,,our bodies found so much good in the cannabis plant it adapted for it’s use. The key to that theory is that the only plants I know of that have cannabinoids is cannabis and possibly hops,,a close relative to the cannabis plant with a lot less cannabinoids I am told.

    • James

      We have grown as a species with the world’s plants, there isn’t any conceivable way plants haven’t influenced our evolution. The human brain size doubled in such a small time, and no one knows why. The same didn’t happen to other animals of the time, meaning it couldn’t have been environmental stress etc.
      It’s argued that this was caused by the introduction of psychedelic plants into the diet.
      Search for Stoned Ape Theory for a better explanation, what you’ve come up with is very similar so thought you may be interested.

    • Fred Palmer

      Symbiotic relationship. It gives us what we need to heal, we grow it. One needs the other.

    • Paula Williams

      Exactly my thoughts as well claygooding. I believe the 20th Century Autoimmune Epidemic was caused by the complete REMOVAL of Hemp in the “Marijuana Tax Act of 1937″ and all it’s wonderful varieties strictly to benefit Dupont’s latest investment – Petroleum. The scientist at the time warned them NOT to do it but money talks. I truly believe it will CURE many of today’s autoimmune “diseases” which are really just deficiency diseases like Scurvy is “cured” with Vitamin C. Mankind is WIRED for Cannabinoids and if we don’t produce enough (endocannabinoids) it was NOT a problem because there was ALWAYS a supply of hemp … well until Dupont changed that. Part of the issue for “legalization” may be the inherent liability to Dupont if MJ is truly found to be “required” by mankind to live.

  • CherylPrax

    Sorry to inform you but neurogenesis happens after brain damage! ECT, which causes brain damage also causes neurogenesis.

    • TruthOnPotcom

      Cheryl, not sure if that is true or not, but neurogenesis definitely goes beyond brain damage. It actually is an ongoing process that happens every single day. However, studies show that THC and CBD can increase levels of neurogenesis, which is incredible considering that alcohol and tobacco do the opposite.

      • Thomas Parker

        Yet alcohol and tobacco is not illegal. It is exactly for the reason to keep the masses dumbed down and more prone to sicknesses.
        I think this is the main reason why Marijuana is illegal. The elite makes the most money out of sick people and also they want more control over them.

        • Ralph Harriman

          That was really good and yes they are paid off by prescription drug companies to keep it illegal.

          • Fred Palmer

            Rockefeller

    • Kevin

      The functional relevance of adult neurogenesis is uncertain,[19] but there is some evidence that hippocampal adult neurogenesis is important for learning and memory

      How is that brain damage? the reason it happens after brain damage is probably natural and indicative of healing?

      I am no expert by far so please excuse my ignorance.

  • http://johnturmel.com John C. Turmel, B. Eng.

    “Most ‘drugs of abuse’ suppress neurogenesis. Only marijuana promotes neurogenesis.” Still, THC is not the only chemical found in marijuana and, eight years later, a team from Brazil is giving marijuana users more reason to celebrate. Their study, published in the July issue of The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, shows that cannabidiol (CBD) can help your brain grow too.
    Jct: Which is why we Abolitionists are so sharp and the Prohibitionists are so dull.

  • Tammy Jane

    Explains why my brain continues to improve since eating cannabis on a daily basis after receiving multiple zygoma skull fracture a couple years ago turning me into an emotional temper throwing 4 year old and I continue to improve exponentially consuming large amounts of cannabis daily!!! God(dess) bless Cannabis!! thank you for our many blessings… may we all benefit from the cure :-)

    • Kwehrheim

      Did it improve, or did your ability to recognize it deteriorate?

      • Ralph Harriman

        Read the studies before you make a comment like that. If you don’t at least onsider cannabis use the only one you are hurting is yourself. The government even has a patent on it number 6630507. They are now looking at cannabis as a total cure for Parkinson’s Disease.

        • Kwehrheim

          So clearly you know nothing about what a patent is. Thanks for saving me the effort of a longer reply.

          • Ralph Harriman

            I very well know what a patent is I have 2 you fool.

          • Kwehrheim

            Lmao whatever you say, Inspector Gadget. Any other lies you want to throw out there? If you actually held any patents, you would know that they are in no way proof that something works or is effective in any way, it just means that, if it does happen to work, you own the rights to it.

          • Ralph Harriman

            Look fool check out 6630507 you moron because overtime you open your mouth your ignorance leaks out. 6630507 is a patent on marijuana and I have been in the U S Patent office website and see it myself. Also fool I have another patent pending right now on a medical invention. They have done studies and THC and CBD both have been found to rebuild braincells in the Hippocampus part of the brain. The Hippocampus is what controls your emotions plus it is what produces Dopamine. The lack of Dopamine is what causes ADHD,Depression,
            Parkinson’s Disease and Demencia . Fool I know more about marijuana than you will ever know. The day after you were born if you drank breast milk then you had a form of THC because it is in all breast milk. If it wasn’t your mortality rate doubles as a baby. They did a study on mice and they blocked the cannabinoid receptors. The mortality rate doubled and the ones who lived were sickly. THC is what gives you the munchies but it is also what signals the appetite in infants. The day after you were born your mothers THC level was at it’s peak and it gradually lessened after that. Like it or not marijuana is our sister plant. Your body has cannabinoid receptors in it. That is enough for now because I don’t want to overload your simple brain.

          • Kwehrheim

            I notice you didn’t address my point at all. I’d love to hear more about Demencia though. You’re clearly a very educated person.

          • K

            Actually it’s spelled dementia. :)

          • Kwehrheim

            Yeah that was kinda my point. Hard for Inspector Gadget up there to maintain much credibility when he doesn’t even know how to spell the conditions he’s blathering about.

          • johnny blaze

            Really? You all are saying very dumb and ignorant things I came on here to read about marijuanas possible positive effects on brain growth and cognitive function. Instead I see baby’s crying and fighting over nothing.. damn the world makes me sick sometimes. all I gotta say I’d grow up and don’t waste time

          • AcheronMagia

            say what you want it is still a highly addictive substance that while under its influence worsens your ability to think and work coherently and productively.

          • Fred Palmer

            Not necessarily. For a normal uninjured person that is sometimes true. Although for someone with a brain injury Marijuana is a Godsend. It lessens the symptoms, increases cognitive ability, helps relieve Chronic Pain from nerve damage, cures cancer, stops seizures, and much more. It is not physically addictive and any abuse of the drug is brought upon more by a persons own makeup than the drug itself. I think you are very uneducated and only spouting of what you hear from News channels.

          • Vapeman

            Cannabis is PROVEN to be no More addictive than Chocolate. You unlearned tool.
            Nor does it lessen or degrade ones cognitive abilities.
            You clearly are full of hysteria and have been made to fear a plant, thus you are irrational. Might I suggest some deep therapy from a qualified therapist. Maybe some Thorazine for that irrational thought processes of yours.

            Or you could just smoke a joint or eat some raw cannabis and it will help you rid yourself of that psychosis you suffer from.

          • Cameron

            I don’t understand how you can be so hostile to a person speaking on personal experience. You are strictly one sided, that shows ignorance in my opinion. You don’t even provide him with information that would be helpful. If that was even your goal to begin with. Seemingly you tried to degrade and belittle, which shows poor compassion and/or respect for others. There is a way to express yourself without hostility even in its slightest.

          • Polak

            chocolate is more addictive because of sugar!

          • Kevin Roelofs

            Chocolate contains Anandamide, which is pharmacologically IDENTICAL to THC.

          • Claire Carson

            Its impossible for your body to be physically addicted to Marijuana. People with addictive personalities or other disorders may become addicted or dependent on the drug to help cope with depression or insomnia, for example, but it is IMPOSSIBLE to be physically addicted.

            You can function perfectly fine on Marijuana, if you are used to using the drug. The only time someone is incoherent or unproductive is if they choose to be on it. I can perform any daily task perfectly fine. You just have to set your mind to whatever you need to do.

            Please do your research before making blanket statements like this.

          • Polak

            It is not addictive, marihuana is not addictive, of course if diller do not add any kind of shit like methaamfetamine or sth worst… try it yourself, you find how it is not addictive, and plant your own

          • kingjavi777

            highly addictive substance…. Marijuana??? Have you had it before? It has very, very LOW addictive traits to it! What are you speaking upon?? Are you speaking upon ACTUAL experience with this chemical or “supposed” studies & articles? I know PRO athletes that smoked and played professional football games “so-called” high! Are you “crazy” my man??? It actually SLOWS the perception of TIME down so lets say you were doing something like “driving” you actually would be able to RESPOND to situations on the ROAD quicker while using marijuana!

            But this does NOT go for everyone!! SOME people get to GOOFY when under cannabis use and they ALLOW they psychological effects of the chemical because it is a “mind expansion” drug to EFFECT their physical being! But MOST people that have used cannabis NOT on an AMATUER level KNOW that the giggles & the GOOFY shit is just someone who has NOT experienced the NEW feeling and chemical release of cannaboid receptors!

            Their might be specific AREAS that it worsens your ability to think & work (as you quoted) but for ALL those areas their are “equivalent” areas that are “HEIGHTENED”!!! Like MOST things in LIFE we should NOT argue over because it is a BALANCE! Gift & a Curse if you look CLOSE enough almost everything that is a GIFT or HELPS us out has a COUNTER part to it where it does DAMAGE and vice versa!!! While TRADTIONALLY “mainstream” TAUGHT conveniently the DAMAGE that cannabis “supposedly” did people are NOW discovering ALL of the POSTIVES stuff it does! For it to be a NATURAL medicine that means that it DEF has LESS side effects then ALL or ANY man-made medicine! So does it have down sides??? IM SURE as ALL thing do!! But if this, that & the 3rd is LEGAL or used medicinally and it has much WORST side effects……THEN……………… no QUESTION marijuana SHOULD be used medicinally and SHOULD be continued to be researched and studied to see all of the POSITIVE it can do!!!!

          • Kevin Roelofs

            Dietary essentials can’t be addictive. It’s like saying you are “addicted” to oxygen.

          • Scott

            Some people are writing about ‘green leaf’ that is the plant completely raw and non combusted/cooked in anyway including drying and flu. All of the addictive and hallucinogenic

            effects are born of the cooked, burned, combusted plant. I do hope this helps. Please investigate this for yourself.

          • Guest

            As is alcohol, and its legal. This substance should be treated, regulated and respected as such.

          • Fred Palmer

            Maybe I can help enlighten you a bit Johnny? On August 30,1979 I was thrown head first onto the railway track caused by the derailment of the train I was on. Immediately I was unconscious, then dragged and crushed by the three fully loaded rail cars. Multiple injuries causing total disability from employment. Symptoms included high blood pressure from severe Chronic Pain that drove blood pressure to as high as 200/140 and stayed that way for five years straight. Migraines lasting four days straight, nausea, ringing in ears, behaviour problems, depression, extreme stress caused by poverty and pain and fighting the insurance company. I am literally being tortured with medical fraud and neglect as both company and workers compensation board started a campaign of slanders frauds and deceits that has left me penilless and in pain. Never was I treated for the brain injury or the Chronic Pain and almost died from both on numerous occasions. I get only a $230.00 a month pension. I am sixty now. Drinking became an option for treating my pain and depression because I was neglected. I cannot drink and ended up in mental institutions and jails because of it. But I needed treatment for the pain and torment and fear that overwhelmed me. I was confused, neglected, and abused by that. I did not get a diagnose for a brain injury until eighteen years after injury. Then still not treated. What could I do??? At a party one night someone offered me some Marijuana and said it would help my pain. I smoked that stuff and never noticed a pain relieving effect but then I was young and healthy. Immediately my pain and stiffness and soreness was relieved and along with that my mood also improved. My depression was lessening and I found a smile come across my face. Since then I have been psychologically tested with an I.Q of between 131 and 141. Assessments show I am not mentally ill and the only thing really bothering me now is the enforced poverty and pain and lack of mobility. A brain injured person has a difficult time making moral decisions and their reasoning impaired if as in my case the injuries are to the front temporal lobes. Temper tantrums are common and I could not handle stress at all. I made many mistakes errors and outright outrageous behaviour. But since finding Marijuana I find my moods more level, compulsive/obsessive behaviour lessened greatly and I believe has enabled me to contribute greatly to my community. Although the inability to be employed causes me great stress and I am forced to avail of charity and receive no medical care or fair compensation, I have survived thus far. Marijuana is the only medicine I use for all my symptoms of pain and suffering including 1. Brain injury. 2.Chronic Pain. 3. High blood pressure (triggered by pain and stress and poor diet) 4. Arthritis (caused as a result of severe crushing and many broken bones.) 5. Depression and anxiety caused from neglect. Since my severe and long lasting injuries there has been no other treatments That has covered my multitude of symptoms. As a result of my studies into my injuries and combined experience, I am considered an expert patient by The A.M.A., have a certificate in the treatment of Chronic Pain from them, and hope one day to share this with others. Marijuana replaces at least five medications for me. Considering the brain injury I believe time heals somewhat but evidence medically has shown Marijuana given immediately after a suspected brain injury actually helps repair damaged neurons. This is my personal story not any second hand crap. I hope it helps you.

          • DogWithoutSlippers

            You are a real idiot……trying to hang your point on a “t”…….but I think others can see how feeble you really are!~

          • gdclark

            you are clearly not

          • Vapeman

            Your point is moot, therefore, no redress is needed.
            You are clearly just ignorant.

          • Frodo baggins

            what is your point dumbass. Except you ignore the studies, and preach some sort of marijuan induced deficiency. Without any fact to support it. Just your own ignorance.

          • Fred Palmer

            GW Pharmaceuticals from the U.K. is seeking a patent for a cancer cure from Marijuana. They created a spray from Marijuana to treat M.S. and it is used in many countries. In the Bible it says “There is a plant for the healing of all Nations.” Marijuana is it. Consider Fukushima is unstoppable and will cause a spike in cancers. We need to preserve life. The elite may not share my view. The only people today that are against Marijuana are those who do so for their own selfish reasons. There is an abundance of evidence proving the efficacy of Marijuana and it is readily available.

          • Claire Carson

            Id like to say you cannot really take things out of context in the bible and say what it means. The bible uses many forms of figurative speech and Im not sure if that can be taken out to mean marijuana.

            Im 100 percent pro marijunana movement but I just wanted to make that one point.

          • Kevin Roelofs

            If you read Revelations 22:2 it talks about a plant that produces 12 fruits. If you know anything about the anatomy of a cannbinoid trichome, you know it’s divided into 12 compartments that produce terpenes. Terpenes and flavinoids give fruit it’s smell and taste.

          • Ralph Harriman

            Also I believe Harvard University knows a lot more than you big mouth? Why is it everybody else is wrong and you are the only one who is right? You are like the mother watching her son in the parade and saying look my son is the only one in step. The US has done studies and the know it works plus I can prove it works. For one it lowers blood pressure. You are not worth arguing with because you are too stupid to know you are stupid.

          • Vapeman

            Clearly you are an unlearned idiot. Thanks for saving us any more wasted energy on your ignorant ass.

        • Lexi

          Do you even know, what your talking about? Because honestly it doesn’t have any effect on anyone like that it’s only for people that really need it nobody asked for whole world to try it. Plus if you don’t like it then don’t smoke it why does it matter to you that somebody else smokes it ? Marijuana grows from the grown just like tabcoo why can others have there rights by having achole and tabcoo why I can’t have a thing that helps me.

      • Frodo baggins

        stupid is as stupid says. Typical fluoride drinker, deny fact with ad hom based ignorance.

        • thanatos8285

          I’m loving the irony of you getting the quote wrong. Delicious. Kinda tempered by your smug use of “ad hom” as if you have any clue what you’re talking about, but good nonetheless.

          • Frodo baggins

            Isnt a quote, and I didnt get it wrong. You think your ignorance is knowledge. Do us all a favour…read this quote, then look in the mirror, he speaks about YOU.

            “There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”

            ― Isaac Asimov

      • texxos57 .

        Ass^^^

    • i need help growing healthy

      Thank you for sharing

  • http://johnturmel.com John C. Turmel, B. Eng.

    Jct: Gee, I guess Dr. Sanjay Gupta missed this one in his concerns for marijuana on growing brains. Can’t see how growing even more brain cells is going to hurt, can you? Should kids be restricted to Ritalin and Prozac or should they get canna-muffins too?

    • Fred Palmer

      Actually I believe getting rid of Ritalin and Prozac altogether would be the best choice and replaced by Cannabis Oil.

    • Doreen Donovan

      I definitely as a healthcare professional,would only recommend CBDfor my child.

      • Ralph Harriman

        In most cases I would agree with you but there are limited cases where THC is needed. Again I agree with you completely because I wouldn’t want my child on THC either. I myself don’t like THC but I have insomnia real bad. For you insomniacs out there let your pot set out in the sunlight and let the THC turn to CBN. CBN is what makes you tired and they have also found it rebuilds bone loss.

    • Ralph Harriman

      A study found out Prozac rebuilds braincells. However the side effects may not be worth it. Last year peanuts killed 100 people marijuana killed 0.

  • Acka

    Sorry, but as an ex weed / haxixe user, i must say that this study strikes me as simply bogus or BS.. The continued use of cannabis especialy when started in a young age, not only modifies your brain structure to the point where if you suddenly stop using, it reacts as if you are not in your normal state of mind(addiction) also in the long run it will affect your memory to the point where u can not remenber important things u said the day before when under the influence. I believe that the best medicinal use if not only the single one, is in helping cancer patients overcome theyre sickness that results of the quimo and also regain theyre apetite. As far as this “study” goes, i would like to know how and in what conditions it was made, Thank u. Any replies, regarding my questions may be directed to the following e-mail: rsix72@gmail.com.

    • Dude from EVEREST COLLEGE™

      But it sounds to me that you were once addicted to weed yourself…and its a well known fact that too much of anything can be harmful. I do believe this article, and there are also other articles on this subject

    • EZO

      Agree with the memory loss, can also cause slower reactions, weight loss or gain. But if done not on a regular basis, I’m sure that it can affect the brain in positive ways. I smoke weed maybe once or twice a week, I suffer from aadd and weed has help that. I notice too I can focus on tasks now compared to jumping from one thing to another which is one of the main traits of adult attention deficit disorder. You can abuse weed just like anything else which can prove negative consequences.

      • Ralph Harriman

        Try eating it. If you heat cannabis beyond 290 degrees it loses 90% of it’s medicinal qualities.

        • Kevin Roelofs

          Eating it converts D9 THC into 11 hydroxyl THC…4x more potent pain reliever.

    • Ralph Harriman

      You are totally wrong about memory. I quit for ten years and because of health reasons I had to start back up. I have done a lot of studying while stoned and I remember everything I read. I may not remember it two minutes later but the next day I will. Because of ADHD I actually remember more if I am stoned than if I wasn’t. When I was young I had a cop try and tell me it slows down your reaction time. I told him I box and invited him to get in the ring with me while I am stoned and we can check his theory. He declined the offer. When I was 16 I took Karate. My instructor told me I had some of the fastest hands he had seen. He put me sparring with a green belt and a brown belt at the same time. Neither one could land a kick or a punch and I was stoned at the time. A fairly recent study also showed it improves your cognitive function which is controlled by the Hippocampus part of the brain. I was like you two years ago and didn’t believe marijuana had any medical benefits. Now I know better. One morning I got up and my blood pressure was 146/90. I smoked a bowl and ten minutes later it dropped to 115/80. I took no other medication. Also it is known as the diabetes drug. My wife has parkinson’s and it relieves the righty the muscle spasm’s and the intense pain associated with the disease.

  • Brennan

    I read another article from a science journal that said it was a cannabinoid called HU210 that caused the neurogenesis, not THC. Just pointing that out.

    • The Bish

      Hu210 is a synthetic chemical form of thc

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  • GOLDCLAW

    I was wondering why my head was getting bigger—hahahaha

  • daniellejudith

    Since when is aging a psychiatric symptom?

  • Mario Magana

    So I have Schizophrenia and a few years ago I was on Haldol. But before that I completely destroyed my mind smoking Spice/K-2. I took the Haldol for 2years and it worked very poorly, so I smoked some marijuana, the marijuana completely relaxed my mind and made me feel normal for a few days. Then I took the Haldol after two days and it worked so well. Afterwards the marijuana passed the Haldol went back to not work. I credit the Marijuana for helping for a few days. I have personal evidence that it works, marijuana does works towards our advantage.

  • Jon Brodie

    It’s awesome how when you use it frequently enough the negative side effects like coordination and hormonal changes go away but you still get the same benefits.