Study: Cannabichromene (CBC) May Aid In Brain Development
Italian Researchers Investigated Three Major Cannabinoids
As is the trend lately, a team of researchers from the Endocannbinoid Research Group in Italy investigated how cannabinoids affect the brain’s development. The group is funded by GW Pharmaceuticals, which is the manufacturer of Sativex. It seems as if they hope to grow their inventory of pharmaceuticals made from cannabinoids.
Sativex is derived from THC and CBD. It is currently approved in Spain, France, and UK.
This study, in particular, focused on the role cannabinoids play in developing adult brain cells. In order to do so, the researchers investigated neural progenitor stem cells (NPSC), which are vital in brain functioning.
What Are NPSCs Impact On Brain Development?
Like the name suggests, NPSCs are the stem cells of the brain. They are the precursors to 3 types of cell in the brain: neurons, oligodendrocytes, and astrocytes. Because NPSCs are able to create each of these cells in the right conditions, they are being explored to help regenerate brain cells. This would be especially useful in the treatment ofdiseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer‘s, and Multiple Sclerosis.
One type of NPSCs daughter cells is are called astrocytes. They are most prevalent cell in the brain and their role is to support and protect the neurons, which send signals throughout the nervous system. In the case of nerve injury, astrocytes repair the damaged area and replace any area that can’t be repaired. A lot of the interest about NPSCs is due to the potential of controlling the development of astrocytes; it could allow scientists to completely restore damaged nerves.
Cannabis May Increase Neural Progenitor Stem Cells
The Italian cannabinoid study, being published in Neurochemistry International, tested the effects of tetrahydrocannbinol (THC), cannabigerol (CBG), and cannabichromene (CBC). That being said, they seemed to place a particular importance on CBC specifically.
The Endocannabinoid Research Group said their results suggest CBC can help the growth and survival of NPSCs.
They found that CBC was related to higher concentrations of NPSCs. It also seemed to inhibit the creation of proteins that cause the NPSCs to convert to other brain cells. This suggested that CBC may interact with this process, it could be help decide what brain cells are being developed and when.
Although the researchers decided to focus on one cannabinoid in particular, it’s important to know that whole cannabis is generally more effective. There are over 80 cannabinoids in the cannabis, and they all seem to work together. It is simply not the same when we isolate specific cannabinoids, as the we no longer can experience the synergistic effects of whole cannabis.