The synthetic cannabinoid -- about 100 times the strength of your basic THC -- may "slow down or inhibit the growth of brain cells," according to a new study. From CTV:
The University of Saskatchewan study was performed on rats. They were injected with HU-210, a synthetic "cannabinoid" similar to a group of components found in marijuana, known as THC, the compound of marijuana that produces the 'high' sensation in users.
Zhang found that rats treated regularly with HU-210 experienced neurogenesis -— they grew new brain cells in the hippocampus area.
Zhang's team believes depression and anxiety may be caused by a lack of brain cell growth in the hippocampal region. If that is true, marijuana, or at least HU-210, could offer a treatment for both depression and anxiety disorders by stimulating the growth of new brain cells.
The reaction is unique among drugs, both legal and illegal, such as alcohol, cocaine or heroine, which actually suppress the growth of new brain cells.
The study, headed up by Xia Zhang, an associate professor with the Neuropsychiatry Research Unit at the University of Saskatchewan, will be published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation in November.