San Diego, CA--(ENEWSPF)--August 27, 2009. Compounds in cannabis may protect the human brain against alcohol-induced damage, according to clinical trial data published online by the journal Neurotoxicology and Teratology.
Investigators at the University of California at San Diego examined white matter integrity in adolescents with histories of binge drinking and marijuana use.
They reported that binge drinkers (defined as boys who consumed five or more drinks in one sitting, or girls who consumed four or more drinks at one time) showed signs of white matter damage in eight separate regions of the brain.
By contrast, the binge drinkers who also used marijuana experienced less damage in seven out of the eight brain regions.
"Binge drinkers who also use marijuana did not show as consistent a divergence from non-users as did the binge drink-only group," authors concluded. "[It is] possible that marijuana may have some neuroprotective properties in mitigating alcohol-related oxidative stress or excitotoxic cell death."