A preclinical study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that very small doses of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), can slow the production of toxic clumps of beta-amyloid proteins in the brain, which are thought to kick start the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
In a healthy brain, these protein fragments are broken down and eliminated. For those with Alzheimer’s disease, the fragments accumulate to form hard, insoluble plaques.
The study supports the results of previous research that found evidence of the protective effects of cannabinoids, including THC, on patients with neurodegenerative diseases.
Back in 2006, Kim Janda, a chemistry professor at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, and his colleagues published the first study showing that THC might have a positive effect in fighting Alzheimer’s.
“It was one of first papers that showed there could possibly be a link,” Janda said. “There was huge pushback when we published it.”
Since then, many other studies have been undertaken, and the news keeps getting better. Researchers from the Abarbanel Mental Health Center, the Medical Faculty at Tel-Aviv University and the Department of Psychology at Bar-Ilan University have also conducted a study to observe the effects of cannabis on Alzheimer’s.
The Israeli study observed the effects of medical marijuana on 11 people living with Alzheimer’s over the course of four weeks. Ten participants finished the trial.
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