Cannabis sativa is a plant with various cannabinoid components, the two most popular studied being THC which most associate with the psychoactive effects in the body and cannabidiol (CBD). Currently, science is looking at exploring research on how these cannabinoids may treat various ailments affecting the human body. The need for clinical studies in neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Tourette syndrome, and spasticity. Most of these ailments have no prominent medical treatment, and the treatment available is more focused on making symptoms more manageable.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurological disorder that is attributed to progressive memory loss as well as loss of learned behavior, it is also not fully medically understood as to why the onset takes place in certain individuals nor the root of the disease.
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While it is known that the parts of the brain that control thought, memory, and language are primarily affected, co-occurring symptoms may also be depression, appetite loss, and agitation. No pharmacological treatments are available at this point to stop or reduce the progression of Alzheimer’s. “A review of the recent scientific literature indicates that cannabinoid therapy may provide symptomatic relief to patients afflicted with Alzheimer’s Disease while also may moderate the progression of the disease”.
In 2006, the Scripps Research Institute in California noted that “-trans-Δ⁹-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) inhibits the enzyme responsible for aggregation of amyloid plaque- the primary marker for Alzheimer’s disease”. Other preclinical trials have shown that cannabis has an anti-oxidation effect which restricts cell death. Cannabis may implement not only neuro-protection but also reduction found in neuroinflammation associated with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Through the study, experts concluded that cannabis has the potential to be used and controlled to modify pain preception. While the results are promising, further study needs to be conducted.