Science

Misreporting on cannabis study suggests drug is harmful to the brain

This study was not about marijuana. It was about a chemical called “WIN 55,212-2.” This chemical is a synthetic cannabinoid, which means it binds to the same receptors in the brain as marijuana’s active chemicals Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). But it’s not the same as marijuana, and it’s not derived from marijuana.

In the paper, the study’s authors show evidence that heavy, frequent use of WIN 55,212-2 can impair recognition memory in mice, the type of memory associated with recognizing people, places, and things you’ve seen before. They also show that WIN 55,212-2 can impair functional connectivity in mice’s brains, which means that it can keep different brain areas from effectively communicating with each other. But again, since the chemical in question was not THC or CBD, any conclusions we draw from this research must be very carefully balanced with the caveat that the study did not involve marijuana. And in fact, even though WIN 55,212-2 acts on the cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor, there’s evidence to suggest that it acts differently than the cannabinoids in marijuana. A 2010 study on mice shows evidence that WIN 55,212-2 and THC have different effects on the behavior of mice in a maze task. It’s a fairly different chemical, too, one that binds more strongly to CB1 receptors than THC does.

Original Article (Inverse):
 Misreporting on Cannabis Study Suggests Drug Is Harmful to the Brain
Artwork Fair Use: cogdogblog

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