Endocannabinoids, retrograde signaling, and learning.

The endocannabinoid system is involved in our ability to learn. Use of medical marijuana, in quantity, is known to reduce short term memory but it may also be helping the body form long term memories. However our natural endocannabinoid system wouldn’t primarily use the equivalent to the euphoria forming THC called anandamide. That is used to reduce nerve cell signaling. It is the non euphoria causing 2AG that is used within our brains to cause stronger nerve cell signals – practice more and the cells are more active in a certain order and that pathway is strengthened so next the cells will fire in that order more easily. (Endocannabinoids Performance through Retrograde Signaling).

More information about nerve signaling between brain cell synapses see Neuroscience, 6th Edition, pages 85-112, 169-189, and 571-593, (1), or summary information and short video explanations are available online for the previous edition: Synaptic Transmission, Synaptic Plasticity, Modification of Brain Circuits as a Result of Experience.

2AG is more similar to the non-euphoric cannabidiol (CBD) that is found in varying amounts in certain strains of medical marijuana. Both 2AG and CBD can activate both the Cannabinoid Receptor 1 and the Cannabinoid Receptor 2. It can have pain relieving and anxiety relieving benefits. (About the Endocannabinoid System)

Phospholipids and cannabinoids can be found in some legally and commonly available foods in addition to medical marijuana or the non-euphoric hemp kernel or hemp seed oil. See this post for more information about the nutrient group and other important nutrients, our bodies need all or most of them on a daily basis: Macro- and Micro-nutrients: Description and Food Sources.

Happy learning!

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.

  1. Reference: pp 169-189 “Synaptic Plasticity“, pp 571-593 “Experience-Dependent Plasticity in the Developing Brain“, pp 85-112, “Synaptic Transmission,” Neuroscience, 6th Edition, Editors D. Purves, G.J. Augustine, D. Fitzpatrick, W.C. Hall, A.S. LaMantia, R.D. Mooney, ML. Platt, L.E. White, (Sinauer Associates, Oxford University Press, 2018, New York) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4326841/ (Barnes&Noble)