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Medical Marijuana and Perinatal Brain Injuries

Cannabis is working its way toward being legalized nationwide as scientists continue conducting sound research on cannabinoids, the compounds found in cannabis, as potential forms of treatment for a wide array of ailments.

A recent study suggests cannabis as a viable treatment option for those suffering from perinatal brain injuries. While there are many causes of trauma to the infant brain, there are very limited treatments available today. Cannabis could be the answer some families are desperately looking for.

Perinatal Brain Injuries And The Lack Of Treatment Options

The causes of perinatal brain injury span from any number of traumatic events occurring during or shortly after birth, such as neonatal asphyxia, neonatal hypoxia-ischemia, and/or stroke-induced focal ischemia. The resulting damage leads to cell death and the options for these newborns are depressingly few and ineffective.

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According to the study, “There is a dramatic need to develop new effective therapies aimed to prevent acute brain damage and enhance the endogenous mechanisms of long-term brain repair. The endocannabinoid system is an endogenous neuromodulatory system involved in the control of multiple central and peripheral functions. An early responder to neuronal injury, the endocannabinoid system has been described as an endogenous neuroprotective system that once activated can prevent glutamate excitotoxicity, intracellular calcium accumulation, activation of cell death pathways, microglia activation, neurovascular reactivity and infiltration of circulating leukocytes across the blood-brain barrier.”

“They [cannabinoids] can modulate a wide range of cellular pathways and pathological mechanisms that participate in the generation of perinatal brain injury [34].”

With endocannabinoids naturally produced in breast milk, it’s becoming common thought that the use of cannabinoids (in the proper setting & consumption method) is in fact a safe treatment for children just out of the womb.

“They [Cannabinoids] can modulate a wide range of cellular pathways and pathological mechanisms that participate in the generation of perinatal brain injury [34]. Cannabinoids are also known to control the cell cycle and the proliferation, survival and differentiation of neural stem cells [35, 36], capabilities that target them as interesting experimental drugs for the enhancement of endogenous brain repair responses to perinatal brain injury.”

So, not only will the use of cannabis help prevent further cell death, it could also aid in brain repair. As such, the use of cannabis as a treatment could drastically alter the developmental recovery as we know it today, and more research needs to be conducted.

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Society of Cannabis Clinicians

Founded in 2004, the Society of Cannabis Clinicians (SCC) is a group of physicians and allied professionals dedicated to conducting quality medical cannabis research, to ensuring the safety and confidentiality of all research subjects, and …