Many benefits of marijuana have been discovered over the years. There have been studies to show the positive effects of marijuana on various diseases. One of the diseases that were studied is Alzheimer’s. These studies have highlighted that marijuana can curb the memory-loss effects of this disease.
Do keep in mind that consuming marijuana is not a cure for Alzheimer’s, but it might actually help to slow progression of Alzheimer’s symptoms. The studies that highlight this effect were conducted on rats. Since little to no human testing has been done, the exact benefits of marijuana on humans with Alzheimer’s cannot be specified.
One of the main reasons this study was initially conducted is because marijuana has anti-inflammatory properties, and researchers believe that Alzheimer’s progresses because of inflammation. This is what compelled researchers to study the effects of marijuana on Alzheimer’s. The study that revealed the relationship between inflammation and the progression of Alzheimer’s was conducted by Gary Wenk, who is a professor of psychology at Ohio State University.
According to Wenk, the brain gets inflamed as a person ages. This is not specific to people who are suffering from Alzheimer’s, but it happens to almost everyone. Unfortunately, there are cases in which the inflammation rate is excessive, which causes significant damage.
The slow progression of Alzheimer’s due to marijuana use was tested on rats that had inflammation. These rats were quite aged, and their condition was similar to that of an Alzheimer’s patient. Actual marijuana was not used in testing the results, but a synthetic compound was used in its place. The chemical properties of this synthetic compound were similar to those of marijuana. The effects and the behavior of the rats were closely monitored. Over the course of time, the rats were found to have become smarter. In addition to this, the rate of inflammation was significantly reduced.
There is sufficient evidence to suggest that individuals who smoked cannabis regularly between the 1960s and 1970s did not develop Alzheimer’s. This is why researchers aim to develop a drug that provides the same benefits as marijuana. Of course, they also aim to eliminate the psychoactive properties of marijuana.
This is not the only study being conducted to discover a cure for Alzheimer’s. There are many researchers working to find a sure-shot cure for the disease. However, there has not been much development in this regard. If researchers are successful in developing a drug that mimics the anti-inflammatory effects of cannabis, they may be able to slow progression of Alzheimer’s.