Medical cannabis can be used in treatments typically related to palliative care. The psychoactive ingredient in marijuana has a calming effect, which can help ease the pain of people with terminal illnesses such as cancer.
However, a new examination published last month in the scientific journal “Aging and Mechanisms of Disease” suggests that medical cannabis can remove an aberrant protein that is considered one of the main causes of Alzheimer.
Since its initial discovery by Alois Alzheimer over a hundred years ago, doctors and pharmaceutical companies worked together to find a drug that can reduce the amyloid plaque in the brain.
This aberrant protein is normally metabolized by the human body. However, in people with Alzheimer, the human body stops metabolizing amyloids, which eventually gather in clumps, causing inflammation and blocking the blood circulation in the brain.
This new survey carried out by experts from the Salk Institute shows that the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis (THC) can remove the amyloid plaque that is considered one of the main causes of Alzheimer.
The team of experts, led by Professor David Shubert, manipulated a series of neurons to produce amyloid proteins. Following this step, they waited for the amyloid cells to gather in clumps and form a plaque. After they had simulated the phenomenon that takes place in the brain of people with Alzheimer, they injected each cell with a small dose of THC.
The effect of the psychoactive ingredient in medical marijuana surprised scientists. According to the experiment, researchers found that medical cannabis can remove the amyloid plaque and the inflammation associated with it.
Unfortunately, many missing puzzle pieces prevent researchers to comprehend the phenomenon. First of all, scientists could not determine what is the reason for which people with Alzheimer cannot metabolize the amyloid proteins.
The other limitation of the study is related to the fact the experiment took place under laboratory conditions. However, in real life, there would be side effects that need to be considered when a person is thinking of medical marijuana as a treatment for Alzheimer.
Despite all limitations and precautions in regards to the positive effect of weed on Alzheimer, one of the main discoveries of this study is related to the potential anti-inflammatory effect of marijuana. Along with the removal of the amyloid plaque, the study also showed that medical cannabis could reduce the inflammation associated with it.
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