Thursday, September 15, 2011

THC and cannabinoids are antioxidants

I was looking around on and was somewhat surprised to find out that THC and cannabidiol, the primary cannabis cannabinoids, are powerful neuroprotective antioxidants. I also stumbled upon an article that describes how cannabidiol is a medication-strength antipsychotic, and counteracts the anxiety or paranoia that can be caused by THC.

THC and cannabidiol are powerful anti-inflammatory antioxidants. A 2007 scientific article written in part by the National Institutes of Health states that “cannabinoid, as components of the Cannabis sativa (marijuana) plant, are known to exert potent anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory and analgesic effects...” “Cannabidiol, one of the most abundant cannabinoids of Cannabis sativa with reported antioxidant, antiinflammatory, and immunomodulatory effects is well tolerated without side effects when chronically administered to humans...” The study concluded that cannabidiol can help to protect against diabetic comlications and atherosclerosis and that “this is particularly engouraging in light of the excellent safety and tolerability profile of cannabidiol in humans”. Pubmed ID 17384130
Another study, titled “Cannabidiol and THC are neuroprotective antioxidants” found that “cannabidiol protected neurons to a greater extent than either of the dietary antioxidants, alpha-tocopherol or ascorbate (vitamin C).” And that the antioxidant effects seen in the studied cannabinoids is “a common property of classical cannabinoid structures”. “The psychoactive principle of Cannabis, THC, also blocked glutamate neurotoxicity with similar potency to cannabidiol.” Pubmed ID 9653176
An additional study, “Comparison of cannabidiol, antioxidants, and diuretics in reversing binge ethanol-induced neurotoxicity” showed that cannabidiol can indeed protect neurons from alcohol-induced damage. Pubmed ID 15878999
Another 2007 study found that THC inhibits lung cancer cell growth, migration, and metastasis. Pubmed ID 17621270
There is also the argument that cannabis causes psychosis. While pure THC has been shown to cause acute psychosis, cannabidiol is a powerful antipsychotic and negates the negative effects of THC, as stated by the 2006 article “Cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent, as an antipsychotic drug”. Pubmed ID 16612464

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