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The Medical Minute: Cannabis May Prevent Stroke and Kidney Disease But Impair Some Sensory Perception

May 27, 2014

In a monumental demonstration of progress, the U.S. government increased the amount of cannabis that can be used for research from 21 kg to 650 kg earlier this month. The slippery slope to liberating its research is already underway, and with so much education now replacing outdated Drug War propaganda, it’s unlikely that prohibition will ever recover its stranglehold on this remarkable plant. This Medical Minute covers just a few recent developments in cannabis research, and we’re excited to see where future findings will take us next.

1. Cannabis May Lower the Risk of Stroke

Good news for medical marijuana patients and activists arrived earlier this month as more evidence supporting cannabis’ benefits in preventing stroke was presented at this year’s American Academy of Neurology’s 66th Annual Meeting. Using data gathered over 16 years, researchers from the University of Maryland found that cannabis consumers statistically suffered less strokes, but researchers were still hesitant to call marijuana’s effects protective. “We will go back and look at our data more carefully and do some additional analyses to see if we can look for potential confounders,” the study’s lead researcher said. Despite their hesitation to embrace the implications of these findings, it’s safe to say that the public presentation of this evidence can only be good for medical marijuana’s reputation.

2. Cannabinoid Deficiency Linked to Kidney Disease

Several studies have already demonstrated the importance of the recently discovered endocannabinoid system. We know that we have a network of natural cannabis-like compounds that bind to the same receptors as cannabinoids like THC and CBD, resulting in a variety of therapeutic effects. Now research is telling us that cannabinoid therapy could hold promise for cannabinoid-deficient kidneys experiencing a disease known as diabetic nephropathy. By activating these receptors using compatible cannabinoids such as CBD, it may be possible to slow the disease’s progression.

3. THC May Impair Your Sense of Smell

In a list of important cannabis-related discoveries, marijuana’s subtle effects on our sense of smell would probably fall pretty close to the bottom. Nevertheless, recreational consumers may be curious about how THC changes our sensory experiences, especially as we notice certain perceptions heighten. According to a small German study, however, our sense of smell and odor discrimination may be detectably compromised; strangely, THC has also been found to stimulate olfactory bulbs in animal models, so clearly there’s more work to be done in understanding THC and its influence over sensory perception.

Image Sources: Ivan Milev's Madonna of the Field, Black Buffaloes, King Marko, and Untitled

  • Christine Travers

    Does anyone out there use cbd for their pet. My pom has kidney disease and I am at my wit’s end trying to get her to eat her prescribed food and I have read alot about the subject but I don’t know anyone who has used it.

    • Kimble Darlington

      I’ve been using Canna-Pet MaxCBD Liquid for 2 months for my dog’s hip dysplasia. CBD oil seems to have a cumulative effect meaning the longer you use it the more benefit you see on multiple levels. My George 100lb Gr Pyr/Aussie mix 5 1/2 yrs old was recently diagnosed early stage kidney disease. Veterinary Kidney formula kibble ingredients look like total garbage to me, especially since I’ve been feeding grain free, high quality food up to now. Found a great site listing a homemade recipe I’m going to try. I’ve read several other sites, but this is the most comprehensive. Check out the link where one reader took his recipe to a nutritionist with good results. http://www.eatswritesshoots.com Blessings to you and your Pom

  • Tom Maslanka

    I too have a 15 year old Pom with diabetes . We found out today that he has kidney problems. I have given him Treatables which have cbd in these dog treats. All I can say is that he seems to want to go on longer walks the day I give it to him. I’m going to try some pure cbd oil online for around $35 and give it a try. He doesn’t like the taste of them so with the oil I’m going to use a syringe and shoot it down his throat! He’s very finicky about treats.

  • Brian Fogg

    I am a kidney transplant patient. With the well known fact that tetrahydrocannabinol suppresses the human immune system, I chose to give up anti rejection medicine for cannabis as my treatment. My kidney function has not increased or decreased in over four years. I still have renal failure because organ transplants are never perfect, they just let you live a little longer.
    But… I DO NOT TAKE THE CANCER CAUSING, DEPRESSION CAUSING ANTI REJECTION MEDICATIONS.
    Thank you cannabis for saving my life!

  • Robbie Ivers

    i am a 43 year old to be 44 in a couple weeks i had a stroke Aug.29,2017 and want to ask if there is a recommendation on smoking or not smoking makes good or bad to do so ???