As the use of marijuana is swiftly being accepted, the debate could soon shift to address its use on missions to distant worlds. Researchers studying on the effects of space-level irradiation on neurotransmission have recently found that these 'subatomic speedballs' can alter signalling within the brain which particularly takes place on messing with the endocannabinoid receptors.
Being 'High' In Space: What Does It Mean?
According to reports by Daily Mail, the researchers have allegedly focused on an area of the brain known as the hippocampus in order to investigate the behavior of two cell types responsible for supplying perisomatic inhibitory control of pyramidal cells. Experts have revealed that these were the cannabinoid type 1 receptor expressing basket cells (CB1BCs) and parvalbumin (PV)-expressing interneurons (PVINs).
Furthermore, the authors of the study has explained that although it's known that solar radiation in space can hamper certain processes in the brain, whether or not it will have an effect on neurotransmission has remained as an unsolved mystery.
On the other hand, ScienceBlog has revealed that anything that messes with endocannabinoid receptors could subsequently have an effect on a marijuana high. Moreover, experts have highly emphasized that high-energy protons' zapping action is selective. They specifically mess with nerve-cell receptors for the brain's never-ending supply of home-grown internal marijuana.
Meanwhile, researchers have claimed that this new understanding could aid the development of treatments that counteract the effects of deep space on neurotransmission. They said that the results could potentially demonstrate that energetic charged particles at space-relevant low doses elicit surprisingly selective long-term plasticity of synaptic microcircuits in the hippocampus.
Moreover, although the concept may seemingly look ambitious, experts describe the study as more relevant and essential than the others. Say for instance, the magnitude and persistent nature of these alterations in synaptic function are consistent, while the high specificity of these changes indicates that it may be possible to develop targeted therapeutic interventions to decrease the risk of adverse events during interplanetary travel.