Compounds in marijuana may be able to help symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
Memory gradually declines with age for everyone. But for those with Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss can be so severe that they can lose the ability to recognize their loved ones.
Areas of the brain responsible for memory are affected in Alzheimer’s, and these areas are highly regulated by the endocannabinoid system. This system is activated by compounds in marijuana known as cannabinoids.
Cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, also have anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects that may help slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
Here, we discuss the merits of marijuana as a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers have investigated the role of the endocannabinoid system in Alzheimer’s disease. The endocannabinoid system is crucial in regulating memory, and scientists believe it may be affected in Alzheimer’s. Since marijuana stimulates the endocannabinoid system, it may be able to offer some benefits.
During the early stages of Alzheimer’s, the endocannabinoid system is blocked by the formation of beta-amyloid plaques. This disruption of the endocannabinoid system is believed to be partially responsible for the early symptoms of memory impairments.
Other evidence has found that cannabinoids can help protect brain cells from damage and prevent cognitive impairments in animal models of Alzheimer’s. This has led to an interest in THC as a potential treatment option. THC is thought to exert its neuroprotective effects by activating CB1 receptors.