Antioxidant compound from soybeans may prevent marijuana-induced blood vessel damage
In laboratory tests, a compound found in soybeans blocked damage to the lining of blood vessels in the heart and circulatory system and may someday provide a way to prevent the cardiovascular side effects of recreational and medical marijuana use, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association’s Basic Cardiovascular Sciences 2019 Scientific Sessions.
Marijuana is the most widely used illicit drug worldwide and is increasingly being made legal for recreational and medicinal purposes. However, there have been studies that link marijuana smoking to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
There can also be cardiovascular side effects, including changes in heart rate and blood pressure, when people take FDA-approved medications containing a synthetic version of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the main compound in marijuana that gives the sensation of being high.
“These medications are prescribed to reduce the nausea and vomiting induced by chemotherapy and to increase appetite in certain people with acquired immune deficiency syndrome,” said Tzu-Tan “Thomas” Wei, Ph.D., the study’s lead author and assistant professor of pharmacology in the College of Medicine at National Taiwan University in Taipei City. “The goal of our studies is to investigate the mechanisms of marijuana-induced damage and discover new drugs to prevent those side effects.”
The effects of THC occur after it binds to one of two cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) that are found throughout the brain and body and are also acted on by naturally occurring cannabinoids.
In the current study, the researchers used endothelial cells (like those that line blood vessels) derived from the stem cells of five healthy people. Exposing the cells to THC, they found that:
THC exposure induced inflammation and oxidative stress, which are known to affect the inner linings of blood vessels and are associated with the development of heart disease.
Lab techniques that block access to the CB1 receptor by THC eliminated the effects of THC exposure on endothelial cells.
Treatment with JW-1, an antioxidant compound found in soybeans, eliminated the effects of THC exposure.
In addition, the researchers used a laboratory technique called wire myography to examine the response of mouse arteries to THC, finding that JW-1 blocked THC’s negative effects on the function of the inner lining.
An earlier attempt to gain health benefits from blocking the CB1 receptor proved problematic.
“Previously, a drug that blocked CB1 was approved in Europe for the treatment of obesity, but it had to be withdrawn because of severe psychiatric side effects,” Wei said. “In contrast, as an antioxidant, JW-1 may have neuroprotective effects. Discovering a new way to protect blood vessels without psychiatric side effects would be clinically important with the rapid growth of cannabis use worldwide.”
The researchers are currently extending their research by testing cells derived from regular marijuana users and those who smoke both cigarettes and marijuana. In addition, they are looking at the impact of THC along with the other main component of marijuana, cannabidiol.
“Meanwhile, if you have heart disease, talk to your doctor before you use marijuana or one of the synthetic THC-containing medications,” Wei said. “Marijuana may cause more severe effects on the cardiovascular system in those with pre-existing heart disease.”
Marijuana exposure damages cells of the inner lining of blood vessels throughout the heart and vascular system. In studies with human cells and arteries from mice, a compound found in soybeans blocked the damage and may have potential in preventing cardiovascular side effects of marijuana use.
Vitamins, antioxidants and smoking marijuana
How to smoke your marijuana in the best possible way?
Ideally, you should always consume marijuana pure, ie without tobacco. If not, then you should try to use the best possible quality tobacco (100% additive-free, organic) and as little as possible. The rolling paper should contain no chlorine and be as thin as possible like the Greengo rolling papers .
A small sponge filter will retain some tar from combustion. Strains with the highest concentration of active ingredients (THC, CBD . ) should be promoted as we will use less plant material to obtain the desired effect.
Greengo rolling paper
Finally, a lighter filled with a gas containing no impurities will allow you to smoke without consuming gases every time you light the joint. These small improvements are important for our health, besides improving the quality of the flavour. For example, not a single conoisseur would ever light a good cigar with a fuel lighter!
What are free radicals and antioxidants?
Oxidative stress (source lanutrition.fr)
Unfortunately, smoke produces numerous free radicals and unstable molecules that have one or more unpaired electrons, that is, they need to recover electrons on other molecules to be stabilized, thus creating new radicals. This chain reaction can be stopped only by the well-known antioxidants.
Each puff on a cigarette produces about a million billion free radicals; an effective way to limit the damage of smoke on the respiratory system and overall health is to consume a minimum of antioxidants on a daily basis to limit these damage.
Free radicals damage cells in our body, including its genetic material ( DNA), and are thus responsible for cell aging. There are some natural mechanisms that repair this damage, but these are also encoded within the DNA and may be damaged aswell, which may lead to the onset of degenerative diseases such as cancer.
What nutritional supplements do marijuana smokers need?
Antioxidants have the particularity to deactivate free radicals, thus making them totally harmless. Some antioxidants can simply be found in food, while others are more easily taken in the form of food supplements. The following are such examples:
- Vitamin C, soluble in water, to be released between morning and evening, or to use in slow release form. Our body eliminates this vitamin very quickly. In fact, most mammals are able to synthesise their own vitamin C, but humans are the victims of an ancient genetic accident (40 million years ago), which prevents us from synthesising our vitamin C as cats or dogs do (why don’t they get colds or flu in winter?), hence we should include it in our food every day . It is better to choose the natural form as it contains cofactors that enhance their effectiveness – such as bioflavonoids from citrus – as opposed to effervescent forms which should be avoided.
- Recommended dosage = 1000 to 2000 mg / day.
- Vitamin E, a fat-soluble, creates synergy with vitamin C (they recycle each other). A dosage of vitamin E – which unfortunately is not in the daily diet – ensures good protection, so we should take supplements. The natural form is more efficient
Antoixidants synergythan the synthetic one, and contains the eight known types of tocopherols and tocotrienols (Gamma is the most effective way to protect against cancer). Recommended dosage = 200 to 400mg/day.
- N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC), this sulfonic acid is a precursor of glutathione, one of the most powerful antioxidants in the body. In fact, the mucus that protects the respiratory system is mainly made up of this amino acid, which is also the basis of many cough medicines (Exomuc, Mucomyst . ) Recommended dosage = about 500mg/day.
- Carotenoids: this family of fat-soluble antioxidants is very important. In fact, vitamin E only protects the upper fat layer, while carotenoids protect all lower layers. In this family there is alpha and beta carotene (carrot orange), but also lycopene (tomato red. ), lutein (yellow corn. ), astaxanthin (pink shrimp. ), the cryptoxanthin. As far as we know today, there are over 600 known carotenoids, some of which can be converted into vitamin A (retinol) by the body if necessary. In food supplements the best carotenoids are grouped as a complex.
Tomatoes as antioxidants
Some minerals are also especially antioxidant, such as selenium (100 to 200 micrograms / day), but also zinc (15 to 30 mg
Vitamins derived from food
/ day) and magnesium (about 400mg/day). We can also mention the examples of antioxidant molecules that are easily found in the form of food supplements: alpha lipoic acid, coenzyme Q10 (Ubiquinol), pycnogenol (extract from the bark of maritime pine), romarinic acid or the large family of flavonoids (polyphenols) . Taking a multivitamin complex at each meal will also be very beneficial (vitamins B1 to B12, D . ).
These multivitamin products also contain vitamins C, E and carotenoids, but their effectiveness is generally insufficient to ensure optimal protection against damage from smoke.
Which foods and drinks are richest in antioxidants?
Some foods (or drinks) also have potent antioxidant properties and can be easily consumed in everyday meals:
Green tea and green tea extracts (EGCG). The best form is a green tea powder called matcha from Japan, which is 130 times more antioxidant than ordinary green tea. Replacing the daily black coffee with green tea would be an excellent step forward for your health. Like marijuana, green tea deserves much more recognition.
Turmeric is an Indian spice with very potent anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic and anti-oxidant properties (these three properties are generally associated). Its main antioxidant is curcumin, which gives it a gorgeous dazzling
yellow colour. This spice is used in many dishes and can be easily included in every day use, along with salt and pepper.
Pommegranate juice, cranberry and all other red fruits . Pomegranate was the subject of numerous recent studies for its amazing anti-cancer properties and could be the most antioxidant fruit in the world.
- Black chocolate (at least 70% cocoa). Cocoa contains many powerful antioxidants, but avoid milk chocolate because that, unfortunately, substantially eliminates the assimilation of these antioxidants.
The cabbage family, like broccoli for example. Cruciferous vegetables effectively contain numerous antioxidants containing sulforaphanes that have potent anticancer properties. Broccoli shoots contain, for example, a large proportion of them and are very easy to prepare and add to salads.
After Purple Haze, think of Purple Broccoli
- Red wine contains many antioxidants (resveratrol . ), mainly from the skin and seeds of grapes. The most antioxidant wines are younger wines and from cooler regions, such as Pinot Noir. Obviously, you should always drink in moderation! (1-2 glasses per day). Fruits and vegetables are an excellent natural source of antioxidants, and it is advised to consume them as much as possible each day (preferably organic). Trying to have a wide variety of natural colours in your food will be an easy and pleasant way to ensure a good intake of antioxidants.
A very important fact is that antioxidants are always much more effective when taken together rather than separately,
Fruits containing antioxidants
because they act in synergy to recycle each other. Ingesting large amounts of a single type of antioxidants does not give good results. When one has neutralized a free radical, in fact, another type of antioxidant is needed to recycle it.
By diversifying your intake of antioxidants as much as possible, you will help your body to protect itself naturally from smoke-related damage. Finally, you should always think about drinking lots of water, because smoke greatly increases dehydration of cells. Choose water that is as rich as possible in Magnesium.
Dietary advices in this guide are obviously for nonsmokers as well.
In this post we explain how to take care of your body in relation to the use of marijuana, smoking it with or without tobacco. Fruits are loaded with