Cannabis May Benefit the Middle-Aged Brain
Cannabis May Benefit the Middle-Aged Brain Cannabis consumers are aging. According to studies, cannabis use has increased among older persons, especially after retirement. I’ve already written about how cannabis has varying effects on human brains depending on age. The majority of older users, mostly between the ages of 50 and 60, claim that their primary motivation for using cannabis is to relieve pain brought on by disease or injury. According to the majority of patients, has fewer unpleasant side effects than over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers.
According to the existing data, the adolescent brain is still susceptible to exogenous it. Cannabis fundamentally affects the course of brain development, however, the effects appear to be less severe than those of prenatal exposure. The evidence from numerous studies on both humans and animals suggests that exposure to cannabis during adolescence has the potential to cause subtle but long-lasting changes in behavior and brain function. According to the amount of time used, the age at which it was first used, and underlying genetic vulnerabilities that are more likely to manifest themselves during adolescence, such as various psychopathologies, the severity varies.
In a recent study of Cannabis, a sample of middle-aged and older individuals with chronic pain was examined to determine the association between long-term medical cannabis use and cognitive function. Their findings imply that the usage of whole-plant medical cannabis has no detrimental effects on patients’ cognition. It is important to note that the majority of epidemiological research, including this one, uses whole plants rather than particular extracts. The advantages of particular plant parts have not yet been completely established. In fact, the combined actions of every part of the plant may be what yields the greatest benefits.
The availability of items with increasing potencies in dispensaries is a crucial factor for elder users. The amount of THC in products quadrupled from 4 to 12 percent THC between 1995 and 2012. Today, THC content frequently approaches 20%. The adolescent or developing brain cannot withstand such large concentrations. The natural growth of the brain is hampered, according to research, and the effects may persist into adulthood.
Age-related changes in the end cannabinoid system, which include a decrease in the number of cannabinoid receptors throughout the brain, maybe the cause of the seemingly opposing effects of cannabis on older vs. younger brains. In the limited human research on the impact of cannabis on the brain in middle-aged or older adults, cognitive performance was shown to be minimal or not affected at all. In longitudinal trials comparing pre- and post-exposure performance, middle-aged adults who used cannabis performed better on cognitive tasks. Similar outcomes have been demonstrated in my lab with older animals.
Cannabis use and the older brain
The current study by Watson et al. investigated the effects of cannabis usage on resting state functional connectivity in older people (60 to 88 years old without a history of alcohol or other substance use problems). Age-related cognitive decline and this measure’s sensitivity to them. There was much more neural connectivity between the cerebellum and hippocampus in older adult users compared to non-users. Because both of these structures are crucial for cognition and express large numbers of cannabinoid receptors, the changes in these brain regions are significant.
Endogenous cannabinoid receptor density decreases with age in accordance with normal aging. An increase in inflammation and a loss of neurons in the hippocampus are both associated with the loss of these cannabinoid receptors in these brain regions. The hippocampus is essential for memory and learning. Decreased cannabinoid receptors may be a factor in memory decline with aging.
Cannabis in middle to old age:
The usage of cannabis among seniors is rising. The majority of users in this age, who are mostly in their 50s and 60s, claim that pain relief from illness or injury is the main reason they use it. The majority of patients claim that while cannabis is not more effective at treating pain than over-the-counter or prescription painkillers, it does so with fewer negative side effects.
In a recent study, a sample of middle-aged and older individuals with chronic pain was examined to determine the association between long-term medical cannabis use and cognitive function. Their findings imply that the usage of whole-plant medical cannabis has no detrimental effects on patients’ cognition. It is important to note that the bulk of epidemiological research, including this one, has used entire plants rather than particular extracts. The advantages of particular plant parts are not yet fully understood. In fact, we may find that the combined actions of every part of the plant may be what yields the most benefits.
Why are the effects of cannabis age-dependent?
Even though the solution to this puzzle is yet unknown, there is one fascinating potential process that includes what is taking place with your brain’s stem cells.
Every day, stem cells go through neurogenesis and produce new neurons. From the time of conception until puberty, neurogenesis is unquestionably important for the development of the brain. By the time you are ready to retire, neurogenesis has almost completely stopped. It starts to drop about middle age. Numerous human PET imaging investigations lead to the conclusion that age-related increases in brain inflammation are what causes the reduction in neurogenesis. Age-related deficits in learning and memory as well as a rise in depressive disorders are most likely caused by the loss in neurogenesis.
My lab’s research has shown that a tiny amount of cannabis taken every day can considerably lessen brain inflammation. Research conducted in my lab has also shown that activating receptors on living stem cells can restore neurogenesis.
The manipulation of the receptors on the stem cells of an infant’s developing brain is intolerable. The normal development of the brain is hampered when stem cells are exposed to cannabis, and the effects may persist into adulthood. On the other hand, may promote stem cell function later in life and shield the brain from inflammation. Please remember that only needs to be used in very little amounts to aid the aging brain. The phrase “a puff is enough” was created by my lab since it seems that only one puff per day is required to achieve noticeable effects. As a result, using cannabis in moderation is the ideal strategy as you age.