Marijuana and Alzheimer’s Disease
Medical marijuana reduces the side effects of Alzheimer’s disease and provides relief to those suffering from this illness. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than five million American’s are living with the disease. And it’s the sixth-leading cause of death in the country.
Those suffering from the disease experience mental confusion, difficulty thinking and understanding, mood swings, loss of appetite, and a plethora of other symptoms.
Currently, no cure exists, although the use of medical marijuana has been shown to relieve these symptoms.
Many studies are being conducted to explore marijuana as a potential treatment for this disease.
Researchers have been experimenting with small doses of THC, a compound found in marijuana, and other compounds in marijuana to study the effects these compounds have on the brains of those suffering from Alzheimer’s.
Researchers have discovered that THC can protect the brain from degeneration, as well as ease the symptoms of Alzheimer’s
Doctors believe protein fragments known as beta-amyloid is the cause of Alzheimer’s disease. These protein fragments destroy synapses and eventually forms clumps together into plaque that leads to nerve cell death.
A study conducted in 2014 showed that small doses of THC reduce the production of the beta-amyloid, which may protect against the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
Also, THC is a natural and safe amyloid inhibitor, unlike prescription medication that is often prescribed to patients.
This study also showed that THC boosts the function of mitochondria which is very beneficial for patients because mitochondria are responsible for generating the energy our cells need to function.
Brain cells, in particular, need a lot of energy to be able to communicate with each other and with other parts of the body. So when mitochondria are strong, the function of brain cells will improve.
Doctors also believe Alzheimer’s disease is a result of brain inflammation. Cannabis is one of the most effect anti-inflammatories in medicine, and it is a safer alternative to prescription drugs.
Researchers are also studying the potential of medical marijuana to relieve day-to-day symptoms.
Those suffering from Alzheimer’s are incredibly taxing and overwhelming, but fortunately, medical marijuana helps ease these symptoms, providing some very needed relaxation and peace to the patient.
Another symptom of Alzheimer’s is the loss of appetite. Similar in patients undergoing chemotherapy, medical marijuana improves the appetite of the patients.
Currently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved two medical marijuana medications in pill form. “Dronabinol” and “Nabilon” to treat nausea and loss of appetite caused by chemotherapy. Alzheimer’s patients have found similar relief when using these pills.
Although the evidence surrounding the medical effectiveness marijuana has preventing Alzheimer’s disease and treating the symptoms, many people remain skeptical of using medical marijuana. Doctors and patients are now advocating for its use, while others are concerned it may be an addictive substance with long-term harmful effects. Regardless of the differing views, research continues to explore the effects medical marijuana has Alzheimer’s disease.