Can Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) help reduce Alzheimer's disease?


Reprinted with the kind permission of Dr. Mercola.

By Dr. Mercola

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound responsible for the psychoactive effects of marijuana, may offer hope for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, at least according to a study in mice.1 Rodents with a disease similar to Alzheimer's disease have received a form synthetic THC, which resulted in fewer brain cells lost, 20% fewer plaques in the brain (which are linked to Alzheimer's disease), as well as an increase in memory.

In fact, mice with Alzheimer's that received THC also had memory tests as healthy mice, while those receiving placebo lost part of their memory.2 The study was presented at the Society for Neuroscience 2018 in San Diego, California, and has not yet been published, but raises the hope that a treatment based on cannabis may prove to be therapeutic for Alzheimer's disease.

THC improves memory in Alzheimer's rats

The study was interesting in that it found THC – but not cannabidiol (CBD) – to be beneficial in memory function and loss of neurons in mice with Alzheimer's. Cannabidiol is the non-psychoactive component of cannabis, which has been found to offer many benefits for pain relief, seizures, and other health conditions.

Cannabinoids interact with their body through cannabinoid receptors that naturally occur in cell membranes throughout the body. There are cannabinoid receptors in your brain, lungs, liver, kidneys, immune system and more; the therapeutic (and psychoactive) properties of marijuana occur when a cannabinoid activates a cannabinoid receptor.

Your body also has natural THC-like endocannabinoids that stimulate your cannabinoid receptors and produce a variety of important physiological processes.

So your body is actually turned on to respond to the cannabinoids through this unique system of cannabinoid receptors. Both THC and cannabidiol are likely to exert their effects through the endocannabinoid system of your body. According to the researchers: 3

"Endocannabinoid signaling has been shown to be involved in numerous processes, including brain development, memory formation, motor control, neuroinflammation, excitotoxicity, and oxidative stress.

In addition, several in vitro studies have shown that cannabinoids reduce Aβ [amyloid beta]induced neurotoxicity, as well as cell death and facilitate neurogenesis. It can also be demonstrated that cannabinoids stimulate the removal of intraneuronal Aβ in vitro.

… Treatment with cannabinoids in … mice shows the potential of the endocannabinoid system as a therapeutic target in Alzheimer's disease, influencing molecular signature and improving memory deficits. Our findings reinforce a cannabis drug as a potential AD [Alzheimer’s disease] therapy."

THC can reverse brain aging

Researchers in the study highlighted that people should not take the results to say they should light up to preserve brain health. When healthy rats received THC, they actually had learning disabilities. However, previous research on mice has also found that THC is beneficial to brain health.

One of these studies, published in Nature Medicine, found that a low dose of THC reversed the age-related decline in cognitive performance of mice at 12 and 18 months.4 The dose was small enough to avoid psychoactive effects but strong enough to reversal of performance loss in older animals (mice normally live to 2 years of age).

In addition, the gene activity and molecular profile in the brain tissue of mice treated with THC were from much younger animals. Specifically, hippocampal neurons have developed more synaptic spines – points of contact required for communication between neurons.

Previous research has also shown that the brain ages much faster in mice that do not have functional receptors for THC, suggesting that THC may be involved in regulating the aging process.5 The next logical step would be to test marijuana and its compounds in people with Alzheimer's disease, but political bureaucracy is holding back the scientific process.

Speaking to NPR, cannabis researcher Jamie Roitman, associate professor of psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, explained, "There are no places for this." NPR continued, "Getting approval for any study involving marijuana related people and compounds is "very difficult," she said, despite the fact that the drug is legal in many states. "6

Still, marijuana therapy is at the forefront of the future of neurology, according to researchers who write in Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, and working through multiple mechanisms is likely to be useful not only for Alzheimer's disease, but also for Parkinson's disease, brain tumors epilepsy and traumatic brain injury. They noticed: 7

"The polypharmaceutical properties inherent in cannabis botanists offer distinct advantages over the current single-target pharmaceutical model and presage to revolutionize neurological treatment in a new reality of effective interventional and even preventive treatment."

What else is good for medical marijuana?

Cannabinoid receptors play an important role in many bodily processes, including metabolic regulation, cravings, pain, anxiety, bone growth, and immune function. "Medical Marijuana" refers to the use of any unprocessed marijuana plant or its extracts for medical purposes. Through traditional plant breeding and seed trading techniques, farmers have begun to produce cannabis plants that have higher levels of CBD and lower levels of THC for medical use.

Since the 2018 election, which has resulted in some states approving various forms of marijuana, medical cannabis is legal in 33 US states, while recreational use is legal in 10 states and Washington, DC8 Most areas where medicinal cannabis is legal use only under certain medical conditions, and some allow only CBD oils or tablets. What are people using for this? Pain and anxiety are the main uses, but there is also potential for its use as a treatment against cancer.

For example, Harvard researchers have found that THC reduces tumor growth in lung cancer while significantly reducing its ability to spread.9 Even in cases of glioblastoma, one of the most lethal types of cancer, cannabinoids can help because they have been shown to inhibit invasive ability. of glioblastoma tumors and to improve the survival of patients with glioblastoma.10 In addition, cannabinoids have been shown to be promising for a variety of medical uses, including:

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Anorexia
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Huntington's Disease
  • Addiction
  • Eye diseases
  • Nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy
  • Inflammatory and neuropathic pain
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Anxiety Disorders

Interestingly, both TCH and CBD are likely to play a beneficial role in health. One study further found that CBD can buffer some of the psychoactive effects of THC and the two compounds may offer better therapeutic outcomes when given together than alone.12

If you are considering the use of medical marijuana, and you live in a legal state, you can get a referral from your doctor's cannabis medical card, and then join a group, which is a group of patients that can grow and grow up. share cannabis drugs with each other. By signing up as a member, you earn the right to grow and share your drug.

There are different ways to administer medical marijuana, from inhalation, vaporization and smoking to sublingual (under tongue), oral and topical intake. The best way for you will depend on your medical needs, so work ideally with an experienced doctor to determine the best route of administration and dosage.

Keep in mind that although medical marijuana may seem like a new or modern treatment, its medicinal properties have been valued for thousands of years, including Traditional Chinese Medicine in India and the ancient Egyptians, Persians and Greeks.

Coffee: another natural compound that benefits Alzheimer's disease

Along with marijuana, many other natural substances may also contain properties that inhibit Alzheimer's disease, and coffee is no exception. "Coffee consumption has been correlated with a lower risk of developing Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD), but the mechanism by which coffee can provide neuroprotection in humans is not fully understood," explained the researchers. researchers.

It has been previously suggested that caffeine in coffee may account for many of its beneficial effects, but a new study has revealed similar beneficial properties for the brain between caffeinated and decaffeinated varieties. The distinctive factor seemed to be the type of roast, with the dark roast coming from above.

A compound called phenylindane is formed when coffee beans are roasted, with larger amounts found in darker toasts. Phenylindan is also neuroprotective, as it inhibits the aggregation of beta-amyloid and tau, both implicated in Alzheimer's disease. Researchers plan to investigate whether phenylindanes are able to enter the bloodstream and cross the blood-brain barrier.

Also similar to marijuana, coffee consumption has been associated with a lower risk of glioma brain tumor, such that people in the highest category of coffee consumption were 91% less likely to develop glioma compared to those in the category bottom.14

Drinking one to two cups of coffee daily also showed reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia, cognitive decline and cognitive impairment, compared to eating less than one cup.15

Tips to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's

Alzheimer's disease has become one of the most pressing and tragic public health problems facing the United States. With the number of people affected to triple by 2050, the Alzheimer's Association estimates that by mid-century someone in the United States will develop Alzheimer's disease every 33 seconds. 16

Medical marijuana may one day prove to be a useful tool for the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's, but it is not yet widely available to most people. Many other strategies that reach the root of the disease are now available, such as exercises to increase brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), reduce stress, optimize your sleep, which is critical for cognitive function and nutritional support.

Important nutrients include omega-3 fats based on animals, magnesium, vitamin D and fiber. For example, elderly people with severe vitamin D deficiency may increase the risk of dementia by 125%, and vitamin D deficiency is associated with a substantially increased risk of all-cause dementia and Alzheimer's disease.17 Have your levels tested and maintain a blood level of 60 to 80 ng / ml throughout the year.

As for omega-3, the high intake of omega-3 EPA and DHA fats helps prevent cellular damage caused by Alzheimer's disease, thereby decreasing its progression and decreasing the risk of developing the disorder. Ideally, take an omega 3 test once a year to ensure you are in a healthy range. Its omega-3 ratio should be above 8% and its ratio of omega 6 to 3 between 0.5 and 3.0.

I also recommend a cyclic or targeted ketogenic diet to help you optimize your health by converting from burning of carbohydrates into energy for burning fat as your primary source of fuel. You can learn more about this approach to improving your mitochondrial function, which is also at the heart of Alzheimer's disease in my book Fat for Fuel.

One of the most common side effects of being a sugar burner is that you end up with insulin resistance and leptin, which is at the root of most chronic diseases. Intermittent fasting is another powerful tool to stimulate your body to remember how to burn fat and repair insulin / leptin resistance. Together, these lifestyle strategies continue to be your best defense to avoid dementia and keep your brain health strong.

For more information, do not forget to take a copy of "The End of Alzheimer's: The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline," by Dr. Dale Bredesen, director of neurodegenerative disease research at the University of California, Los Angeles ) Medical school. It is packed with tools for prevention and treatment.

This article was brought to you by Dr. Mercola.

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Sources and references

1, 3 Neuroscience 2018, November 6, 2018

2, 6 NPR November 7, 2018

4 Nature Medicine May 8, 2017

5 Fighting Aging May 9, 2017

7 Neurosci Front Integr. 2018 October 18, 12:51.

8 CBS News November 20, 2018

9 Oncogene 2008 January 10; 27 (3): 339-46

10 Front Mol Neurosci. 2018 May 16, 11: 159.

11 Drugs. 2018 Nov; 78 (16): 1665-1703.

12 Pharmacol. 2017 February 3, 8:20.

13 Neurosci Front. 2018 October 12, 12: 735.

14 Eur J Nutr. November 9, 2017

15 Clin Nutr. 2017 jun; 36 (3): 730-736.

16 Alzheimer's Association, 2016, Alzheimer's disease, facts and figures

17 Neurology August 6, 2014


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