This is the third in our series on medical marijuana for bipolar. In the first piece , we made a conditional case for marijuana to treat bipolar, with some major provisos. The second piece compared the risk/benefits of medical marijuana with prescription drugs.
In this installment, we look at the endocannabis system that marijuana acts upon.
Endocannabinoids (ECs) are naturally occurring compounds throughout the brain and body that regulate cellular signaling and cellular maintenance. They function in a similar fashion to neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, except they travel backward, against the flow, from the postsynaptic cell to the presynaptic cell.
At the presynaptic cell, the ECs dock to CR1 and CR2 cannabinoid receptors and release their chemical messages. One of the effects may be to inhibit the release of certain neurotransmitters from the presynaptic cell back to the postsynaptic cell.
In effect, the postsynaptic cell restricts the f...
Tailoring medication to the needs of the individual has always been something of a hit-and-miss affair when it comes to anxiety. The prescribing doctor has no way of predicting whether a patient will respond positively to the prescription they are about to write. Almost inevitably this leads to a series of repeat visits where the patient attempts to describe the effects of their medication and the doctor tries to modify their prescription or dosage accordingly.
A team of researchers have now focused their attention on mechanisms of the brain that may one day help doctors prescribe medication with a lot more certainty. Dr Luan Phan and colleagues, have recently reported some interesting findings in the Journal of Neuroscience, using a combination of brain scans and marijuana.
Marijuana contains the active ingredient delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is known to help reduce the brain's response to threats in a region of the brain known as the amygdala. The amygdala i...
People ask a lot of questions about marijuana. But they may not be asking all of the right questions. Those that aren’t questioning the use of marijuana might not want to ask the tough questions because they don’t want to hear the answers. And some may not even realize that there are some very important answers that need to be heard because they have been lulled into thinking that marijuana is just a benign herb that causes no harm. Nothing can be further than the truth. Here are the answers to some of the not-so-frequently asked question.
Does marijuana use lead to dependency and/or addiction? Absolutely; the use of marijuana has been clearly documented to change the brain, particularly the reward system in the brain . 1 These changes in the brain are very similar to what is found in those with opioid chemical dependency/addiction and alcoholism. The statistics show that 9% of those who initially start using marijuana will develop a dependency and that teenagers are ...
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