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2014-12-05

Could Alzheimer's Patients Benefit from Marijuana?

It's time to celebrate Chanukah...and smoke your marijuan-ukha

I'm often asked about how marijuana can have such wonderful potential benefits to the brain and cognitive health, when on the surface--from its recreational use and stigma/government propaganda--most people would think it does the opposite. Well, here is a recently published study that shows how it can possibly reduce the risk of Alzheimer's and/or slow it's progression.

In fact, this isn't the first study I covered on this topic, and almost exactly a year ago, I covered another study that suggested marijuana could prevent Alzheimer's, so the evidence is slowly building, and it appears quite positive.

Mind you, this was just an in vitro study, so doesn't carry a lot of weight at this time, but I predict that as North America loosens its prohibition around marijuana and realizes its medicinal benefits, we'll start to see some well-designed human clinicals that will give us greater insight to just how medicinal this plant can be.

The purpose of this study was to investigate the potential therapeutic qualities of  THC (the main psychoactive compound in marijuana) with respect to slowing or halting the hallmark characteristics of Alzheimer's disease; the toxic compound known as amyloid-beta (Aβ).

THC was also tested for synergy with caffeine, in respect to the reduction of the Aβ level in test cells at the 6-, 24-, and 48-hour time marks. THC was also tested to determine if multiple treatments were beneficial, and a biological assay was performed to test the toxicity of THC.


From the results, the researchers discovered THC to be effective at lowering Aβ levels in the test cells at extremely low concentrations in a dose-dependent manner. However, no additive effect was found by combining THC with caffeine. They also discovered that THC directly interacts with Aβ peptide, thereby inhibiting aggregation.

At the treatment concentrations, no toxicity was observed and the CB1 receptor was not significantly upregulated. Additionally, low doses of THC can enhance mitochondria function and does not inhibit melatonin's enhancement of mitochondria function. These sets of data strongly suggest that THC could be a potential therapeutic treatment option for Alzheimer's disease through multiple functions and pathways.

I've now come across a number of studies linking marijuana's health benefits to mitochondrial function. Perhaps I'll see if there's enough research/info to include this in a second edition of my book, LIFE - The Epic Story of Our Mitochondria

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Source: The potential therapeutic effects of THC on Alzheimer's disease

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Related posts on medicinal uses of marijuana:

1 comment:

  1. The need to immediately legalize Marijuana nationally is the most pressing moral issue of our time. More and more present and former members of law enforcement agree.

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