The Amazing Link Between Cannabinoids And Gut Bacteria

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In the past few years, scientists have been paying close attention to the so-called gut-brain axis, leading to new understandings of how our gut bacteria influence our moods, cognition and mental health. According to the latest research, cannabinoids play a key role in mediating these effects, indicating that some of the damage caused by harmful microbes in our intestines can in fact be reversed by some of the compounds found in cannabis. Related Post How Cannabis Could Be The Answer To Antibiotic Resistance Cannabinoids And The Gut-Brain Axis Only recently have researchers come to appreciate the control that the gut microbiome exerts over the central nervous system, and vice versa. Indeed, while the brain is able to send chemical messengers to the gut in order to regulate appetite and digestion, an increasing body of research suggests that the bacteria therein also release metabolites that travel in the opposite direction in order to alter brain function. As such, it is now widely accepted that the make-up of a person’s microbiome significantly contributes to their risk of mental health conditions such as depression. The latest evidence for this link can be found in a new study in the journal Nature Communications[i], which suggests that certain harmful gut bacteria suppress the production of cannabinoids in the brain, leading to negative mental health outcomes. The study authors began by studying mice that suffered from an animal model of depression. When gut bacteria from these rodents was transplanted into the intestines of healthy mice, these recipients quickly began to display symptoms similar to those seen in the donors, including depressive behaviours. Upon further analysis, the researchers noted that levels of an endocannabinoid called 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) plummeted in the hippocampus of any healthy mouse that received these depression-associated gut bacteria. This, in turn, caused a sudden…

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