Can Cannabinoids Alter Our Vision?

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There is the age old saying that carrots improve your night vision. well, turns out cannabinoids may as well!

In a completely unexpected result, new research has found that the cannabinoids found within hemp and cannabis may be able to improve low-light vision. Although a surprise, it could help give an insight into the way cells within the eye can be manipulated.

THE RESEARCH

Carried out as a joint effort by multiple teams, researchers sought to test the effects of cannabinoids - both naturally produced within the body, and those found in hemp and cannabis - on neurotransmission and vision. Surprisingly, it was found that when introduced to tadpoles, activity increased in their retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), improving object detection in low light.

RESEARCH

It was originally thought that the opposite effects would occur, as cannabinoid are stereotypically thought to reduce neurotransmission, not increase it.

THE REASONING

It was found that cannabinoids activated the receptor CBR1, which in turn suppresses the transportation of chloride into RGCs. This caused cells to hyperpolarise, making them able to send transmissions at higher frequencies when stimulated. The end result is better low-light vision.

THE EFFECTS ON HUMANS

Of course, it is important to understand that this research was carried out on tadpoles, not humans. As such, it is not possible to definitively say whether cannabinoids can alter vision in humans. More research is needed. However, the findings are certainly interesting! Who knows what secrets research like this could unlock into vision manipulation!


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