Can Marijuana Treat Alzheimer’s?

October 26, 2015 | By Lorenzo Mejia

Alzheimer’s Disease affects more than 5 million Americans and is the 6th leading cause of death that is not preventable or curable. Although scientists have yet to develop a cure, research has shown marijuana might be an effective treatment for AD patients. Researchers have shown that THC, the main psychoactive component of cannabis slows the buildup of neural plaques in the brain. It significantly reduces the rate of amyloid plaque in the brain which is a defining marker of AD. THC also effectively inhibited amyloid production more than the approved drugs, donepezil and tacrine. Cannabis also improved mitochondria functioning even greater than other research had previously shown.

 

Some research suggests that THC prevents cell death and stimulates cell growth. It also has antioxidant and neuroprotective properties. Since AD is not fully understood, there is no definite cause or treatment, however, marijuana is a promising option that is not limited to the cellular level. It  treats many symptoms by increasing appetite, improving motor function, reducing agitation and protecting against some memory loss. Most pot smokers realize that smoking pot affects short-term memory. That is why you shouldn’t study while drunk, however, science has established that marijuana improves long-term memory with its neuroprotective properties. This is what seems to help the AD patients. Marijuana is no cure, but it does appear to be an effective and less-risky treatment than other drugs currently available.

 

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