Research into cannabis at the Cajal Institute in Madrid is providing new insights into the medicinal benefits of CBD. Spanish scientists have found a dose that is capable of both pain relief and neurological recovery after an accident or stroke.
This came to light during a series of experiments with mice. The scientists gave the rodents a low dose of CBD administered directly into the brain. They then measured the impact on reactions to pain and also the extent of brain damage after a stroke.
Repairing brain damage
The researchers discovered that a low dose of CBD blocks the activity of sigma 1 receptors, which in turn regulate part of the function of NMDA receptors in the brain. This is interesting because other NMDA receptor antagonists are associated with reducing pain and restoring the brain after a stroke. This research once again demonstrated the ability of CBD to repair brain damage. The mice given CBD following a stroke had less brain damage than those in the control group.
CBD for pain relief
In the pain tests, CBD also enhanced the analgesic effects of morphine, making the mice resistant to pain for longer. This outcome underlines the pain-relieving properties of CBD – in conjunction with morphine – and may contribute in the future to patients on morphine requiring a lower dose. This is a positive outcome, because morphine is strong, addictive painkiller with serious side effects. So the less morphine needed, the better.
The sigma 1 receptor is a very interesting new area of research that could offer scientists new insights into the pain-relieving properties of CBD and its ability to repair brain damage. Moreover, this research could provide evidence to support the theory that CBD also has a protective function against brain ageing and damage due to injury or stroke.