Study: THC Reduces Methamphetamine-Induced Brain Damage

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A new study published in this month’s issue of the journal PLoS ONE, and published online by the National Institute of Health, has found that THC (Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol) can reduce and even prevent brain damage caused by methamphetamine intake.

According to the study, titled Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol prevents methamphetamine-induced neurotoxicity, “Methamphetamine (METH) is a potent psychostimulant with neurotoxic properties. Heavy use increases the activation of neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS), production of peroxynitrites, microglia stimulation, and induces hyperthermia and anorectic effects.” 

It continues; “Preclinical studies have shown that natural (Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, Δ9-THC) and synthetic cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptor agonists exert neuroprotective effects on different models of cerebral damage. Here, we investigated the neuroprotective effect of Δ9-THC on METH-induced neurotoxicity by examining its ability to reduce astrocyte activation and nNOS overexpression in selected brain areas.”

Using rat models, researchers discovered that; “Our results indicate that Δ9-THC reduces METH-induced brain damage via inhibition of nNOS expression and astrocyte activation through CB1-dependent and independent mechanisms, respectively.”

The full study can be found by clicking here.

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