We’ve heard and read so much in the past couple of years about the ways in which cannabinoids can contribute to health and wellness. These chemicals, which are found in the cannabis plant, have been subject to some controversy. Yet as research has developed our understanding of what they are and how they work, folks are finally opening their minds to the idea of cannabinoid medicines and treatments.
The two most talked about cannabinoids are cannabidiol (or CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol ( also called THC). While both have medicinal properties which can have a beneficial effect on the body, there is one stark difference between them. THC is the chemical responsible for the “high” effect which is synonymous with recreational cannabis use, while CBD causes no psychoactive effects whatsoever.
Regardless of this, both CBD and THC have been investigated as possible treatments for everything from common skin complaints such as acne and eczema to incurable diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and AIDS.
The latest findings indicate that these cannabinoids could play an important role in the treatment of perinatal brain damage or injury. The term perinatal refers to the time immediately before, during and following birth. Injury to the brain can be acquired at this time for several different reasons.
A bacterial infection of the placenta known as chorioamnionitis is one cause which can limit the development and growth of the brain. Another common cause of brain injury at this time is antrauterine asphyxia, a condition which is the result of uterine or umbilical circulation problems.
No matter what the cause, perinatal brain injury can have lifelong consequences for the child. Thankfully, infant brains can be surprisingly resilient and responsive to treatment. Some researchers think that cannabinoids could be a possible future treatment.
Unfortunately, there is no hard data to support this theory just yet. However, researchers do know that cannabinoids play an active role in brain health. They do this through their interaction with the endocannabinoid system, which is known to play a vital role in the regulation of brain health.
Studies have shown that CBD can have significant healing effects on patients suffering with chronic traumatic encephalopathy. a degenerative disease caused by repeated brain trauma which has become prevalent among professional contact sports aesthetes.
It is hoped that these effects can also be seen as a result of perinatal brain injury treatment with CBD and other cannabinoids. However, much more research is needed before we can make any assumptions on the effects of such a treatment.