Opponents have called marijuana the Devil’s Harvest, while proponents say it’s a Wonder Drug. Who’s right? The official jury is still out, but here’s another study that gives points to the pro side:
Findings of a preclinical study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, suggest very small doses of THC, a chemical found in marijuana, slow down the production of the beta-amyloid protein, which builds up to create plaques in the brain, an accumulation of which is a known hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.
“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,” lead author Chuanhai Cao, of the University of South Florida’s Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute said in a release.
Similar studies have also pointed out the effectiveness of THC in fighting the formation of harmful brain plaques. Researchers in a 2006 study conducted by the Scripps Institute found that THC blocked the aggregation of plaques completely, even better than the best known inhibitors, found in existing Alzheimer’s drugs.
Researchers called THC “natural and relatively safe,” emphasizing that in very low doses, the benefits of the compound outweigh any potential harm.
As a person who’s grandmother is suffering from dementia, the possibility of what this study suggests is impossible to ignore. Add to her, the estimated 5.1 million Americans that have Alzheimer’s disease or some other form of dementia. And consider that Alzheimer’s disease is listed among the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States alone. How can anyone continue to say that Schedule 1 is where this medication belongs?!