Yo, what’s up everyone? My name is Dan, and I’m here to talk about something that could change people’s lives forever. Spinal cord injuries (SCI) are no joke. They’re one of the worst injuries you can get. They split into two types: complete and incomplete, and both suck big time, man. Complete injuries mean you totally lose mobility below the injury site, while incomplete ones still mess you up pretty bad. The symptoms are hella debilitating and can make everyday life a nightmare.
But wait, there’s hope! Cannabis could be the answer we’ve been searching for all along, my homies.
Check it out – when bones or ligaments or whatever smash into your spinal cord, nerve signals get messed up and can’t travel from your nerve cells to your brain. That means you can’t move like you used to, and that’s no fun at all. But research has shown that cannabis might be able to reduce the trauma from the initial injury and help relieve the symptoms.
Scientists looked into our endocannabinoid system and how it reacts to spinal cord injuries. They found that our CB1 and CB2 receptors could potentially limit the amount of damage from an incomplete SCI. When rats had their spinal cords injured, endocannabinoids 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and anandamide (AEA) built up in their bodies right after the injury happened. When scientists blocked the CB receptors from being stimulated in control groups of rats, they experienced different biological reactions. This shows that manipulating our neuroprotective response could boost our initial trauma recovery.
Our CB1 and CB2 receptors are found all over our bodies, including in major organs and our central nervous system. THC has a similar molecular structure to anandamide that our bodies produce naturally, so supplementing with phytocannabinoids from cannabis can enhance our biological response. This could be huge for people living with SCI because symptoms like severe pain, muscle spasticity, insomnia, anxiety, and depression can be managed with cannabis instead of opioids. Opioids are a short-term solution that can lead to addiction, which is not what anyone wants.
Patients who used cannabis reported reduced spasticity in a study where they filled out questionnaires. Spasticity is a condition where specific muscles stay continuously contracted, and it can cause stiffness or impair movement or speech. Most participants in the study said they preferred cannabis over opioids because it’s not addictive or toxic.
Other studies have shown that THC and CBD in models of inflammation and pain could help reduce the symptoms of SCI. While we still need more research on THC’s psychoactive side effects, cannabidiol as part of whole-plant extracts showed promise for improving neurogenic symptoms with “well-tolerated” side effects.
Living with SCI is a hellish trauma that affects everything you do. But with cannabis, there’s hope for improving the initial recovery process of incomplete injuries and managing symptoms on a daily basis. Our endocannabinoid system could be the key to unlocking a new way of life for people with SCI.
Disclaimer: Yo, don’t go thinking you can just start smoking weed to cure your SCI or something crazy like that. This article is for educational purposes only, and the information comes from research gathered from external sources. Talk to your doctor before starting any new treatment plan. Peace out!