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Can Marijuana Prevent Alzheimer's Disease?

By December 9, 2008

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Photo © James GathanyDisclaimer: This is not an endorsement to start smoking marijuana! But I must admit, this study piqued my interest.

Researchers at Ohio State University have found that specific elements of marijuana (read: tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC) can be good for the aging brain by reducing inflammation, one of the proposed contributing factors to Alzheimer's disease.

Instead of recommending that people start smoking marijuana (although they admitted that they couldn't say this wouldn't work), the research team suggests that a legal drug could be developed containing certain properties that emulate the effects of THC without marijuana's "high" (sorry, folks). They've already shown that such a drug can prevent or delay memory impairment in rats; however, the drug is not effective once memory impairment is present.

THC, nicotine, alcohol, and caffeine have now all been found to protect the brain against inflammation when administered in moderation. Does that mean that it's healthy to smoke pot, smoke cigarettes, drink to excess, and pound Red Bulls? Uh, no. You'd have to be high to come to that conclusion. Plus, we wouldn't want you getting the munchies, since we already know that fast food might be bad for your brain. Dude.

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Photo © James Gathany

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December 11, 2008 at 4:01 pm
(1) Matt says:

My name is Matt and I spent 3.5 years working in an Alzheimerís/Long Term Care facility in Utah and I know the difficulties and pains associated with this disease. I’ve never heard of some of these treatments, but I find them interesting. I’m fascinated by some of the improvements some medicines have made in some patients. Iíve also seen a lot of resources that help. One in particular seems to be a great benefit: http://www.thecaringspace.com
Please pass this link along to anyone you feel could benefit from it.

April 2, 2009 at 9:17 pm
(2) me says:

I find this interesting because I started smoking marijuana to relieve chronic back pain resulting from an injury. After I began smoking I noticed relief of not only my pain but I found it reduced my obsessive compulive tics and actually increased my ability to focus. I’ve always struggled to focus living unmedicated with ADD. I would rather consume marijuana any day for my ADD over the amphetamines the doc wants to push on me. I actually eat healthier after taking up marijuana, I take more walks and I don’t suffer from the self-esteem issues I used to as a result of my ADD limitations. I no longer have social anxiety like I used to either.

I’m just saying I think there’s a lot to be learned about the benefits of marijuana.

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