What Smoking Pot Creates For Your Oral Microbiome And Brain Health
What Smoking Pot Creates For Your Oral Microbiome And Brain Health
Curiouser and curiouser thought, when Google also kicks up ‘6 Ways To Find The Best Online Dispensary To Get Your Weed Delivered’ when ‘cannabis research’ is punched in. Whether the writer or sub-editor (do we still have them?) were stoned when the dispensary piece was published is less germane than the objectionable use of the word ‘get’.
Cannabis continues to be the world’s most used illicit drug; statistically 284,000,000 teens-to-grandies have used it within the last 12 months. Twenty-six percent more people now use it than was the case in 2012.
And that doesn’t count its use since legalisation.
According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)’s World Drug Report 2022, the legalising of cannabis in many parts of the world has accelerated its consumption, and the health issues apparently associated with it.
For this weed to be government sanctioned is proof of its therapeutic value. The argument to that of course, is that there’s a cellulose-wrapped meat emulsion of diabetes, heart disease and obesity 20 billion times a year just in the US – so we know that political authorities aren’t there for our health.
Ahead of cocaine, pot is the most widely used drug on the planet. Many find that prescribed or not, it can have positive effects on mental wellbeing. Whether because it reduces anxiety or just puts a soft edge on the world, some people choose alcohol, some people choose weed.
There are many means and devices human beings will find to best navigate their way in this world and cannabis is just one of them.
As with anything of prolonged use, it doesn’t necessarily come without consequences. Memory impairment, declining learning abilities and less-motory motor skills are listed as possibilities.
Anxiety and depression, poor sleep quality, under-nourishment, and medication can also all produce the same result; although they are without the harmful combustion compounds from smoke that affect oral health.
Being on top of science and technology is the place we’re at and it’s easy to forget our limitations.
After all, the brain is a hardwired tool made to process the world by countless model representations. Naturally, it’s a view with limitations because we’ve evolved to naturally perceive life, the universe and everything in quite particular and sometimes perculiar ways.
Naturally, it’s not the most progressive way to think.
Cannabis is a paradox.
Its use adds to the paradoxes a’plenty that evoke a provocative reality that doesn’t work the way we think it does.
Quantum mechanics has us realising that the structure, mass and spin of a particle can never be destroyed. Were two different letters burned, reconstructing them from ash would be implausible, but not impossible. Subtle differences in the smoke, temperature, and ash pile would still retain information about each letter.
Accordingly, black holes still work on the faultless what-goes-in-must-come-out: all that it has vacuumed in, after a whole lot of black hole time, is emitted as Hawking radiation. Unlike the sooty carbon ashes, all Hawking radiation is exactly the same wherever it is – it carries no information at all – which suggests that all information about the universe is destroyed by black holes.
In the observer’s paradox, the mere observation of any given phenomenon changes the phenomenon itself.
And no need to mention that cat.
Although it seems that in 2018 some cat mentioned to some other cats something about what makes it so good to have an international microbiology and immunology conference in Amsterdam.
Because it was that dope-smoke filled boat that compelled Professor Wei Jiang, MD, of the Medical University of Southern California, to find out more about the affect of cannabis on the oral microbiome.
Apparently everyone onboard was smoking except her.
Killjoy, or genius? It’s pretty much the attitude to marijuana – medical and otherwise.
The pop-tart paradox of cannabis is that the dementia that may be triggered by its use gives benefit to those already with the condition.
In the oral microbiome of pot smokers and not cigarette smokers, are high levels of the bacterium Actinomyces meyeri, A. meyeri, which is linked to increased amyloid-beta proteins – a compound recognised for the inflammation, extracellular plaque and cognitive impairment of Alzheimer’s sufferers.
Pasta, white bread and processed meat do the same thing. Something to keep in mind, on whichever side of the fence the grass is greener.
Changes in oral bacteria have been linked to everything from right at the beginning with premature birth to right to the end (or not even that far) at Alzheimer’s disease. Dysbiosis – unnatural changes in the oral microbiome – is what makes it possible for harmful bacteria to thrive in the mouth, enter the bloodstream and damage the brain.
Now, with $US3.7 million in funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Professor Jiang and her University of North Carolina collaborator Sylvia Fitting, Ph.D., will drive research into the effects of cannabis-caused changes to the oral microbiome and their impacts on neurological disease. Frequency of use, and heavy-versus-light consumption are included in these further investigations.
Dependency on a drug can have harmful neurological effects; what the MUSC team wants to clarify is what drives these effects in cannabis users. It’s known that oral health is directly related to mental health, and virtually tooth-by-tooth: what’s not known is exactly how, in terms of the specificity of the oral microbiome.
Jiang’s earlier studies did not look at the particular component of cannabis causing these changes. Both psychoactive (THC) and non-psychoactive (CBD) compounds are in cannabis; both interact with the brain and nervous system in a different way.
CBD has proven to have many therapeutic and anti-inflammatory benefits and is recognised as greatly assisting the manageability of chronic pain, nausea, and the side-effects of many cancer treatments. (Ah, that pot paradox again…)
If nothing else, the research so far suggests the usefulness for pot smokers to pay particular attention to their oral hygiene.
Anyone would be a dope not to do that.
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