What is the blood-brain barrier and why is it important?

Wednesday, Mar 3, 2021 | Education

As we discussed in our last post, as the human body digests cannabis edibles the liver breaks down THC to become more bioavailable. This part of digestion allows THC to pass through an important cell membrane that is located in the brain. It’s called the blood-brain barrier; but what is the purpose and importance of this membrane?

The blood-brain barrier exists as an extra layer of protection for the brain. Only water, certain gases (such as oxygen), and substances that are soluble in lipids and fats can easily cross the blood-brain barrier. This provides a natural defense against harmful pathogens and toxins that can be present in blood. It also gives cannabinoids such as THC a direct route to the brain, since they are soluble in lipids and fats. Once they reach the brain, cannabinoids are finally absorbed and produce their unique effects! This means that the blood-brain barrier can vastly speed up how quickly cannabis edibles are absorbed by the body.

By providing a direct path for cannabinoids to reach the brain, the blood-brain barrier has shown itself to be an important part of how the human body absorbs and processes cannabis edibles. In our next post we’ll be discussing the significance of lipids and fats and the role they play in digesting cannabis edibles in more detail! Cheers and we hope you all are having a great week.

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