If you or a loved one have any personal experience with the disease, you know just how damaging it can be; not only for the patient, but for their loved ones as well.
This disease slowly destroys a person’s memory and cognitive ability, eventually making it impossible to do even the easiest of tasks, as well as causing them to sometimes completely forget who their closest friends and family members are.
David Schubert, senior researcher and professor at Salk Institute of Biological Studies, says that his study has found conclusive evidence that the active ingredient in marijuana, THC, stimulates removal of the harmful plaque that builds up in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. Additionally, they believe that it also helps reduce inflammation in the brain, a condition that kills neurons and brain cells.
One of the most difficult parts of treating Alzheimer’s is the fact that the disease damages the brain in a very complex way. The other part of why it’s so difficult, is that most treatments focus on destroying plaque, something not all patients have, as Schubert explains:
“The hooker in this whole thing is you can have individuals loaded with plaques that are cognitively normal, and you can have the opposite — no plaques but dementia.”
Specifically, Schubert’s study discovered that stimulation of cannabinoid receptors in the brain prevents accumulation of plaque and the death of nerve cells, as well as reduced brain inflammation.
Keith Fargo, director of scientific programs and outreach for the Alzheimer’s Association, says that Schubert’s study is largely important because “it gives us a better understanding of the cannabinoid system,” and its potential for programming the brain more toward cell survival, rather than cell death.
If you can delay the death of brain cells, you can essentially stall Alzheimer’s progression through the brain.
“The bottom line is I’m absolutely convinced that medical marijuana has real medical use,” states Schubert.
While numerous studies have stated that marijuana holds tremendous potential when it comes to medicine and health, its classification as a Schedule I substance by the Drug Enforcement Administration keeps it from being researched on a broad, effective level.