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The Cannabis Question | Inside Look | NOVA On PBS


NOVA investigates the story of cannabis from the criminalization that has disproportionately harmed communities of color to the latest medical understanding of the plant. What risks does cannabis pose to the developing brain? How much do we know about its potential medical benefits? As cannabis becomes socially accepted, scientists are exploring its long-term health consequences.

THE CANNABIS QUESTION follows scientists such as Daniele Piomelli at UC Irvine and Yasmin Hurd at Mount Sinai Hospital, who are leading research on the endocannabinoid system—a collection of chemicals and receptors throughout the brain and body that help the body maintain balance, or homeostasis. In fact, the cannabinoid receptor—named after cannabis—is the most abundant receptor in the brain. These receptors bind with our own cannabis-like molecules, called endocannabinoids, regulating key functions such as appetite, cognition, memory, and emotion. The disruption of this crucial biological system can be associated with psychiatric disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Cannabis contains over 100 cannabinoid compounds, chemicals that mimic those in our own bodies. One is THC, which produces the “high” associated with cannabis use. Another, called CBD, shows promise for treating epilepsy, opioid addiction, and anxiety.

Premieres Wednesday, September 29 at 9 pm on WGCU/PBS and the PBS video app.

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The Cannabis Question | Inside Look | NOVA On PBS
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