Marijuana has shown promising results in treating many illnesses from epilepsy to PTSD, but now researchers have reason to believe THC could help breakdown protein buildup and relieve inflammation in the brain - problems associated with Alzheimer's. When the brain's neurons are inflamed they cannot communicate properly. The lab grown neurons were altered to create a buildup of the protein beta-amyloid, simulating a cause of Alzheimers, and the THC and other cannabis compounds were able to engage the body's naturally occuring endocannabinoid receptors to treat the protein buildup. Scientists have previously discovered that physical activity helps engage the endocannabinoid receptors and slow the progression of Alzheimer's.
"Although other studies have offered evidence that cannabinoids might be neuroprotective against the symptoms of Alzheimer's, we believe our study is the first to demonstrate that cannabinoids affect both inflammation and amyloid beta accumulation in nerve cells," says Salk Professor David Schubert, the senior author of the paper said in a statement.
The researchers believe that the THC was able to reduce the protein buildup and inflammation by working in the brain’s endocannabinoid receptors, which are naturally occurring in the body. Scientists had already known that exercise engages these receptors, and physical activity can slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease