It has recently been suggested that THC (one of the main chemical compounds found in marijuana) is able to prevent Alzheimer’s by breaking down the plaque that forms in the brain causing memory loss. How amazing is that?
You see this plaque is made up of proteins; proteins including beta-amyloid that was reproduced in order for testing at the Salk Institute. Researchers grew human neurons in their laboratory and from there they introduced the proteins. This allowed them to create the plaque build-up. Once they got to this point they introduced THC into the mix and ended up with some pretty astonishing results.
The THC broke down the proteins and caused the neurons to reduce swelling. Swelling can lead to additional protein build-up, so THC is able to work as a cleaner as well as a preventative. While several studies have shown evidence that cannabinoids might be neuroprotective against Alzheimer’s symptoms this is the first study to actually demonstrate what cannabinoids are able to do for both the inflammation and amyloid beta accumulation.
We have cannabinoid receptors throughout our bodies if you take the time to think about it given that we have receptors for it, marijuana likely has played a large role in our evolution. Maybe stripping away its use has caused the development of Alzheimer’s itself?