The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease published a study in September that “strongly suggest that THC could be a potential therapeutic treatment option for Alzheimer’s disease through multiple functions and pathways.”
They found that the main active ingredient in marijuana “directly interacts” with a protein that is linked to Alzheimer’s symptoms, “thereby inhibiting aggression”. THC was also effective at lowering other key Alzheimer’s Disease markers and that “no toxicity” was observed from the THC. In addition, they found that THC “enhances” the function of the cell’s mitochondria. Other research in the same journal that month indicates THC boosts the body’s natural anti-Alzheimer’s fighting mechanism: the endocannabinoid system.
“THC is known to be a potent antioxidant with neuroprotective properties, but this is the first report that the compound directly affects Alzheimer’s pathology by decreasing amyloid beta levels, inhibiting its aggregation, and enhancing mitochondrial function,” stated study lead author Chuanhai Cao, PhD and a neuroscientist at the Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute and the USF College of Pharmacy.
“Decreased levels of amyloid beta means less aggregation, which may protect against the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Since THC is a natural and relatively safe amyloid inhibitor, THC or its analogs may help us develop an effective treatment in the future.”
Over five million Americans currently live with Alzheimer’s and it is currently the sixth leading cause of death in the nation.