Our body’s cannabinoid receptor system may play a part in protecting our nervous system following trauma, Israeli researchers believe.
A team at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has found that rats and mice subjected to traumatic brain injury (TBI) showed significantly better recovery when treated with cannabinoid compounds, possibly opening the way for clinical trials in the near future.
Cannabinoids are chemical compounds, either derived from cannabis or manufactured, that act on specific cannabinoid receptors in our body’s cells. The most well-known is tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, marijuana’s main psychoactive compound. The endocannabinoid system, our body’s natural cannabinoid receptors, is found in the brain and most organs of the body, and is believed to be a part of the neuroprotective mechanism in mammals, said Prof. Esther Shohami of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
When an external event like stroke or trauma occurs, the body responds by producing these molecules that should