From managing cancer pain to easing the symptoms of epilepsy, it can no longer be denied that cannabis has some serious medical benefits. Now new studies are confirming what stoners everywhere already knew: weed helps you relax – but so do the brain’s own versions of the compounds found in marijuana.
Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center used mice to explore the body’s endocannabinoid system: a naturally-occurring collection of molecules connected with our appetite, mood, memory and pain sensation. They found that when 2-AG (an endocannabinoid) was increased, mice were more stress-resilient, while less 2-AG was linked to “anxiety-like behaviors.” Overall, the study indicates that increased levels of 2-AG lessen the adverse affects of acute traumatic stress and can actually make a subject more resilient to stress long-term.
While these mice weren’t actually smoking up, the study’s findings confirm that certain endocannabinoids can ease stress and anxiety. It had previously been found that THC, the main cannabinoids found in weed, also increases resilience to stress.
It seems that cannabinoids — whether they come from inside our bodies or from weed — could hold the key to successfully treating anxiety disorders, PTSD or even depression.
You can read the full study here.
In other weed news, Canada has announced it will legalize weed by next summer.
- Main image: Fast Company