cannabinoids

The Science and Neuroscience: Cannabis and Creativity (from Neboagency.com)

ThisIsYouBrainOnCannabis

"We’re not the first ones to ask this question, obviously. The effects of marijuana on creativity have been studied extensively by everyone from prestigious PhDs in university laboratories to white kids with dreadlocks in their college dorms. The findings have been a bit of a mixed bag.

One of the keys to creativity is divergent thinking, meaning the ability to view things in a multitude of different ways. It’s what makes creative people creative. It’s what makes people, upon viewing your creation, say, “I’ve never thought of it that way,” or “Wow, what was he smoking?”

Marijuana in the Brain

With that in mind, a 2010 study by Morgan, Rothwell, et al. showed that one of marijuana’s primary properties is its ability to increase hyper-priming, or your ability to make connections between seemingly unrelated concepts. It’s the cause behind those famous and well-parodied “Aha!” moments when a high person suddenly realizes a deep truth about himself after noticing something inconsequential like a dead worm on the sidewalk; or how a weed-fueled conversation can go from whether or not the guy from ABC’s “Nashville” was also in an episode of “Boy Meets World” (he was) to the pros and cons of Taco Bell quesadillas in no time flat.

Marijuana also causes your brain to release the neurochemical called dopamine, which gives users the signature calm, euphoric feeling. It also helps reduce your inhibitions and turn off your “inner-editor” while writing, drawing, or brainstorming. People high on marijuana often describe their thoughts and feelings as moving more freely, almost flowing through them.

Last, research suggests that cannabis blurs the lines between a person’s five senses, allowing for an increased capacity for wonder and awe. It enhances your ability to marvel at things, somehow allowing you to experience events in a profound, internal way.

But it’s not all cheese puffs and genius works of art for weed smokers. A study done in 2010 by Bourasa & Vaugeois claims that the supposed creative benefits of marijuana don’t hold up statistically. The study showed no positive effect from marijuana on divergent thinking and that it may even have a negative impact in this area.

Cannabis in the Brain

So, how do we explain the disparity between studies? Maybe creativity is tougher to define than we’re led to believe. Maybe it’s more complicated than a series of tests or response times engineered by psychologists.

Even if we were to agree that divergent thinking is the most important aspect of creativity, it’s still only one aspect. Weed isn’t some magical substance that can turn any old schlub into Picasso. True creativity also requires intelligence and a whole lot of hard work."

Read the rest of the article on Nebo!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAmBKQhq1-8&w=560&h=315] "The endocannabinoid system refers to a group of neuromodulatory lipids and their receptors that are involved in a variety of physiological processes including appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory; it mediates the psychoactive effects of cannabis and, broadly speaking, includes:

-The cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, two G protein-coupled receptors that are located in the central and peripheral nervous systems, respectively.

-The endogenous arachidonate-based lipids, anandamide (N-arachidonoylethanolamide, AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG); these are known as "endocannabinoids" and are physiological ligands for the cannabinoid receptors.

-The enzymes that synthesize and degrade the endocannabinoids. Unlike traditional neurotransmitters, endogenous cannabinoids are not stored in vesicles after synthesis, but are synthesized on demand (Rodriguez de Fonseca et al., 2004).

However, some evidence suggests that a pool of synthesized endocannabinoids (namely, 2-AG) may exist without the requirement of on-demand synthesis."

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQc4iJedmfc&w=560&h=315]

"Dr. Frankel demonstrates the structure of the CBD molecule as well as it's relationship to THC. The Doctor explains some of the key differences between THC and CBD as well as some new hope in cancer research"

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfiaC-2K1LM&w=560&h=315]

"From 2727 B.C. to the present, Weeds presents a brief history of cannabis"

Visualization of the Endocannabinoid System

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6QWT-WP09o Cannabis facilitates wellness through your endocannabinoid system. Cannabinoid Receptors are found throughout the body - but, the most dense clusters appear in the brain and central nervous system. The endocannabinoid anandamide - which has a similar chemical structure to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) - has been shown to inhibit human breast cancer cell proliferation (meaning it prevents metastasis!). Though this cannabinoid generally interacts with the CB1 receptors (which are found in the brain and central nervous system), it also mediates the immune system through CB2 receptors found throughout the peripheral tissues of the body.

When you ingest cannabinoids from your medical cannabis, the endocannabinoid system is spurred into action. Unlike pills and typical medicines, which overwork your liver and cause atrocious side effects, medical cannabis is treated as a more powerful version of anandamide. In other words, your body doesn't see cannabis as a poison - it sees Tylenol or Advil as a toxin! That's why you can overdose on run-of-the-mill pills and not medical cannabis. Our body is prepared to handle cannabinoids! :)

Watch the above visualization of the endocannabinoid system. This will help you understand the mechanisms involved in medical cannabis therapy!

Visualization of the Endocannabinoid System was a Master's Research Project by Leanne Chan in 2011. She composed this exceptional video in her pursuit of a Masters of Science Degree in Biomedical Communications, offered by the Institute of Medical Science at the University of Toronto. Below, you'll find a description of the content in her own words:

"The endocannabinoid signaling system is composed of the cannabinoid receptors; their endogenous ligands, the endocannabinoids; the enzymes that produce and inactivate the endocannabinoids; and the endocannabinoid transporters. The endocannabinoids are a new family of lipidic signal mediators, which includes amides, esters, and ethers of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. Endocannabinoids signal through the same cell surface receptors that are targeted by Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9THC), the active principles of cannabis sativa preparations. The biosynthetic pathways for the synthesis and release of endocannabinoids are still rather uncertain. Unlike neurotransmitter molecules that are typically held in vesicles before synaptic release, endocannabinoids are synthesized on demand within the plasma membrane. Once released, they travel in a retrograde direction and transiently suppress presynaptic neurotransmitter release through activation of cannabinoid receptors. The endocannabinoid signaling system is being found to be involved in an increasing number of pathological conditions. In the brain, endocannabinoid signaling is mostly inhibitory and suggests a role for cannabinoids as therapeutic agents in central nervous system (CNS) disease. Their ability to modulate synaptic efficacy has a wide range of functional consequences and provides unique therapeutic possibilities."