cannabis users and cognitive decline
cannabis users and cognitive decline

Cannabis Greatly Reduces the Chances of Alzheimer's and Cognitive Decline According to a New Brain Research Study

The stereotype of 'dazed and confused' may be ending with cannabis users being clear minded!

Posted by:
Reginald Reefer on Monday Mar 11, 2024

als cannabis research study als

Cannabis users have significant decrease in Cognitive Decline


Society has long placed a significant importance to what the world of “Science” uncovers.  However, as someone who regularly write about cannabis and associated studies, science might not be as trustworthy as many people believe it to be.


For over two decades, the research landscape surrounding cannabis has been skewed towards a singular, ominous objective: uncovering harm. This predisposition towards identifying the detrimental effects of cannabis use has not only shaped public perception but has also influenced policy and regulation, often to the detriment of understanding the plant's full spectrum of effects and potential benefits.


This fixation on the negative aspects of cannabis is emblematic of a broader issue within scientific research, where studies are frequently designed with a preconceived agenda, seeking confirmation rather than discovery.


This approach is fundamentally flawed, as it narrows the scope of investigation and potentially overlooks significant findings that could challenge existing narratives. The resulting "bad science" not only fails to provide a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter but also perpetuates misinformation and stigma.


However, as the global perspective on cannabis begins to shift, spurred by legalization movements and the burgeoning cannabis industry, the scientific community is also experiencing a paradigm shift. Researchers are increasingly exploring the myriad ways cannabis interacts with the human body and mind, delving into its therapeutic potentials and seeking to understand its role in lifestyle and wellness.


This transition from a harm-focused to a benefit-oriented approach in cannabis research represents a significant step towards unbiased scientific inquiry, paving the way for discoveries that could revolutionize our understanding of the plant.


A recent study serves as a prime example of what happens when the objective of research is realigned towards exploring the potential positives of cannabis use rather than exclusively hunting for negatives.


As Marijuana Moment first covered, this study, published in the journal Current Alzheimer Research, reveals a significant reduction in cognitive decline among non-medical cannabis users, challenging the long-held belief that cannabis invariably impairs cognition. Instead, the findings suggest that cannabis may offer protective benefits against cognitive decline, a notion that runs counter to the stereotype of the "dazed and confused" stoner.


This groundbreaking research not only highlights the importance of shifting the focus of cannabis studies but also underscores the necessity of embracing a more holistic approach to understanding this complex plant.


By examining the reasons why non-medical cannabis users may experience maintained or even enhanced cognitive function, the study opens new avenues for exploration and further challenges the stigma associated with cannabis use.


As we delve deeper into this study and its implications, it becomes clear that the narrative around cannabis is ripe for reevaluation, offering hope for a future where the full potential of this ancient plant is finally recognized and embraced.


The Study in a Nutshell


This research, published in the journal Current Alzheimer Research, indicates that individuals who use cannabis recreationally reported significantly lower instances of subjective cognitive decline (SCD) compared to those who don't use cannabis at all. Astonishingly, non-medical cannabis users were found to have a 96% decreased odds of experiencing SCD, a precursor to dementia, suggesting that THC's effect on cognitive function might be more nuanced and possibly beneficial than previously thought.


The study, conducted by SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, analyzed health survey data from the 2021 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), focusing on respondents aged 45 years and older across various U.S. states and Washington D.C. It examined the association between cannabis use and SCD across three main variables: frequency of use, reason for use (medical, non-medical, or both), and the method of cannabis consumption (smoking, eating, drinking, vaporizing, dabbing, or other).


While the study provides compelling evidence that challenges the stigmatization of cannabis, it's not without its potential issues. Primarily, the reliance on self-reported data introduces a degree of subjectivity that could affect the accuracy of the findings. Moreover, individuals in states where non-medical cannabis use remains illegal might underreport their usage, introducing bias. Additionally, the study did not differentiate findings based on geographic locations, where legalization might influence usage patterns and cognitive outcomes.


Despite these limitations, the research adds an important layer to the ongoing discussion about cannabis and cognitive health. If we are to give credence to other studies that use similar methodologies to link cannabis use with various health risks, it's only fair that this study receives equal consideration. It prompts a reevaluation of the narrative surrounding cannabis and cognitive decline, suggesting that, under certain conditions, cannabis might play a protective role against cognitive impairments. This finding is particularly significant in light of past research that heavily focused on the negative cognitive impacts of heavy or long-term cannabis use, marking a pivotal moment in cannabis research that underscores the need for a more nuanced understanding of cannabis's effects on the brain.


Exploring the Grounds of Recent Findings


Recent revelations regarding cannabis and cognitive functionality introduce a compelling conversation about the underlying factors contributing to these unexpected outcomes.


The integration of THC and CBD's neuroprotective properties signals a promising avenue for brain health, facilitating neural protection and encouraging the genesis of new neural pathways. This intrinsic capacity for neurogenesis hints at a complex interplay between cannabis components and brain health, suggesting a layer of protection against cognitive decline.


Moreover, the phenomenon of neuroplasticity, catalyzed by the influx of cannabinoids upon cannabis consumption, illuminates the dynamic adaptability of the brain.


This flood of cannabinoids ignites neural pathways, carving out novel modes of interaction and perception. Anecdotal experiences of enhanced sensory processing, such as the deepened appreciation of music, underscore the significant alterations in brain wiring and sensory engagement attributable to cannabis use.


Contrary to the stereotypical portrayal of cannabis users, empirical data unveils a demographic that is notably more active than their non-using counterparts. This demographic showcases lower body mass indices (BMIs) and a decreased propensity for illness.


This could be attributed to the supplementary role of phytocannabinoids in the endocannabinoid system. With a stark reduction in endogenous cannabinoid production post the age of 25, the phytocannabinoids derived from cannabis mirror the effects of endocannabinoids almost identically.


The assimilation of these phytocannabinoids can be likened to the intake of essential vitamins, sustaining the endocannabinoid system at its optimal functionality. The endocannabinoid system's primary objective is to maintain homeostasis within the body, suggesting that a well-regulated system contributes significantly to overall physical and cognitive well-being.


These insights not only challenge prevailing narratives surrounding cannabis use but also illuminate the multifaceted benefits that cannabis may offer beyond mere recreational or medicinal use. They underscore the necessity for a nuanced understanding of cannabis's interaction with cognitive health and physical activity, opening the door to further research and exploration into the protective and enhancing effects of cannabis on the human brain.


The Sticky Bottom Line


As we navigate through the evolving landscape of cannabis research and public perception, the imperative shift from a harm-centric view to one that embraces the potential benefits of cannabis becomes increasingly apparent.


For nearly half a century, the narrative surrounding cannabis has been disproportionately focused on identifying its harms, a quest that, while necessary for understanding, has overshadowed the myriad ways in which cannabis may actually contribute positively to our lives. Given the comparative analysis, cannabis emerges not only as benign but arguably as the safest drug on the planet, especially when juxtaposed against legal substances like alcohol and tobacco, which carry significant health risks and societal costs.


This realization beckons a broader, more inclusive approach to cannabis research, one that does not shy away from the plant's complexities but instead seeks to uncover all facets of its interaction with human health and cognition.


The recent findings suggesting cannabis's role in maintaining cognitive function among non-medical users represent just a glimpse of the untapped potential residing within this ancient plant. These insights challenge long-standing stereotypes and invite a reevaluation of cannabis not as a societal ill but as a potential ally in enhancing human health and well-being.


The time has come to liberate science from the constraints of prohibitionist policies that have stifled comprehensive research into cannabis.


 By allowing science to proceed unencumbered, we can uncover evidence-based truths about cannabis, shedding light on both its benefits and its limitations. This balanced understanding is crucial for making informed decisions about cannabis use in our lives and for crafting policies that reflect the realities of cannabis rather than the shadows of stigma and fear.





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