THC has been found to inhibit the formation of amyloid plaques in the brain based on scientific research from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California. These toxic clumps of protein are thought to begin the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
While several studies have shown that cannabinoids can protect people from Alzheimer’s disease symptoms, this particular study demonstrates the effect cannabinoids have on both the accumulation of amyloid beta proteins in nerve cells and inflammation. The scientists tested THC's effects on lab-grown human neurons that resemble how disease behaves.
When THC is consumed, the compound passes from the lungs into the bloodstream, attaching to cannabinoid receptor one and two discovered on cell surfaces throughout the body.
Upon binding to these receptors, the compound produces the majority of cannabis’ psychological effects, such as the “high,” and considered an effective treatment for various health conditions due to its natural pain-relieving properties. Research suggests that THC has another effect on aging brains, helping the body remove the plaques of amyloid beta.
Although the main cause of Alzheimer’s disease is not known, it is believed to result from amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. The former are positioned between the neurons as thick clusters of beta-amyloid molecules and the latter are caused by deficient tau proteins which accumulate into a dense mass in the neurons.
It is unknown why these lesions start to appear in the brain, the increase of plaques and neurofibrillary tangles have been reported to cause inflammation. With cannabis, scientists aim to find inflammation relief while helping the body eliminate these lesions at the same time.
Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute discovered in 2016 that THC impedes amyloid plaque from forming by blocking the brain enzyme which produces them. This new research shows that it can also get rid of a damaging inflammatory response from the nerve cells, ensuring they survive.
For more information about the medicinal benefits of cannabis, contact New Jersey Alternative Medicine today.