Monday , January 18 2021

Can Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) Reduce Alzheimer's Disease?



Reprinted with the kind permission of Dr. Mercolla.

From Dr. Mercolla

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical compound responsible for the psychoactive effects of marijuana, may offer hope for treatment of Alzheimer's disease, at least according to a study on mice.1 Alzheimer disease-related diseases have been given a synthetic form of THC, lost brain cells, 20% less sticky plaques in the brain (which are associated with Alzheimer's disease), and memory increase.

In fact, THC mice of Alzheimer's have also performed memory tests as healthy mice, while those receiving placebo have lost some of their memory.2 The study was presented at the Neurology Association 2018 in San Diego, Calif. has yet to be published but gives hope that cannabis-based treatment can be a therapeutic tool for Alzheimer's disease.

THC improves memory in Alzheimer mice

The study is interesting because it has been found that THC – but not cannabiol (CBD) – is useful for memory function and neuronal loss in mice with Alzheimer's disease. Cannabiol is a non-psychoactive component of cannabis, previously found to offer many benefits to relieve pain, seizures and other health conditions.

Cannabinoids interact with your body through naturally occurring cannabinoid receptors embedded in the cell membranes in your body. There are cannabinoid receptors in the brain, lungs, liver, kidneys, immune system, etc .; the therapeutic (and psychoactive) properties of marijuana occur when cannabinoid activates a cannabinoid receptor.

Your body also has natural THC-like endocannabinoids that stimulate your cannabinoid receptors and produce a number of important physiological processes.

So your body is actually firmly linked to cannabinoids by this unique cannabinoid receptor system. Probably both THC and cannabidiol exert their effects through your body's endocannabinoid system. According to the researchers: 3

"Endocannabinoid signaling has been shown to be involved in numerous processes including brain development, memory formation, motor control, neuroinflammation, excitotoxicity and oxidative stress.

In addition, several in vitro studies have shown that cannabinoids reduce Aβ [amyloid beta]induced neurotoxicity as well as cell death and facilitating neurogenesis. It can also be demonstrated that cannabinoids stimulate the removal of intranasal Aβ in vitro.

… Cannabinoid treatment in mice shows the potential of the endocannabinoid system as a therapeutic goal for Alzheimer's disease, which affects the molecular signature and improves memory deficit. Our findings reinforce the cannabis-based drug as a potential AD [Alzheimer’s disease] therapy. "

THC can reverse brain aging

Researchers of this study warn that people should not accept the results to mean that they must light up to keep their brain health. When healthy mice received THC, they actually had learning difficulties. However, previous studies on mice also found that THC is beneficial to brain health.

One such study, published in Nature Medicine, found that a low dose of THC halts the age-related decline in the cognitive effects of mice aged 12 and 18 months.4 The dose is small enough to avoid psychoactive effects but strong enough to reverse the loss of efficacy in old animals (mice usually live at 2 years).

Furthermore, the gene activity and the molecular profile of brain tissue of THC-treated mice are those of much younger animals. In particular, neurons in the hippocampus grow more synaptic spikes – contact points needed for neuronal communication.

Previous studies also show that the brain ages much faster in mice that do not have functional receptors for THC, suggesting that THC may be involved in regulating the aging process.5 The next logical step would be to test marijuana and its compounds at people with Alzheimer's disease, but the political bureaucracy keeps the scientific process.

Speaking to NPR, Cannabis researcher Jamie Roatman, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Illinois in Chicago, explained: "There is no room for that," said NPR, "approving any study involving people and compounds related to marijuana is" difficult, "she said, despite the fact that the drug is legal in many countries."

However, cannabis therapies are at the forefront of the future of neurology, according to researchers who write in Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience and because they work through multiple mechanisms, they may be useful not only for Alzheimer's disease but also for the disease Parkinson's, epilepsy, and traumatic brain injury. They shall note:

"The inherent polypharmacological properties of cannabis botanical products offer different advantages over the current pharmaceutical model with one goal and turn the revolution into neurological treatment into a new reality of effective interventional and even preventive treatment."

What else is medical marijuana good?

Cannabinoid receptors play an important role in many body processes, including metabolism regulation, hunger, pain, anxiety, bone growth and immune function. "Medical marijuana" refers to the use of the whole untreated plant for marijuana or its extracts for medical purposes. Through traditional plant breeding and seed exchange techniques, manufacturers have started to produce cannabis plants that have higher CBD levels and lower THC levels for medical use.

After the 2018 elections that led to several states approving different forms of marijuana, cannabis is now lawful in 33 US countries, while recreational use is legal in 10 countries and in Washington, DC8 Most of the areas in which cannabis doctors it is lawful to use it only under certain medical circumstances and some only allow CBD oils or pills. What kind of people use it? Pain and anxiety are the most important uses, but there is potential for its use as a cancer treatment.

For example, Harvard researchers have found that THC reduces tumor growth in lung cancer, significantly reducing its ability to spread. 9 Even in the case of glioblastoma, one of the most deadly cancers, cannabinoids can help as they show that they suppress invasion of glioblastoma tumors and improve the survival of patients with glioblastoma.10 Furthermore, cannabinoids have shown promise for various medical applications, including:

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • anorexia
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Huntington's Disease
  • Addiction
  • Eye diseases
  • Chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting
  • Inflammatory and neuropathic pain
  • Post-traumatic Disorder
  • Anxiety disorders

Interestingly, TCH and CBD may also play a useful role in health. One study even found that the CBD can buffer some of the psychoactive effects of THC and both compounds can offer greater therapeutic outcomes when applied together than alone.

If you are considering the use of medical marijuana and you live in a state where it is legal, you can get a medical cannabis recommendation from your doctor and then join a team that is a group of patients who can grow and share cannabis drugs among themselves yours. By registering as a member, you get the right to grow and share your medicine.

There are different ways of administering medical marijuana ranging from inhalation, vaporization and smoking to sublingual, oral and topical administration. The best form for you depends on your medical needs, so ideally work with an experienced physician to determine the best route of administration and dosage.

Keep in mind that although medical marijuana may look like a new or modern treatment, its healing properties have been appreciated for thousands of years, including traditional Chinese medicine, India, and ancient Egyptians, Persians and Greeks.

Coffee: Another natural compound that is beneficial to Alzheimer's disease

Along with marijuana, many other natural substances can also contain properties that suppress Alzheimer's disease, and coffee is no exception. "Coffee consumption is associated with a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease, but the mechanism by which coffee can provide neuroprotection to humans is not fully understood," the researchers said.

Previously, caffeine in coffee was thought to be responsible for many of its beneficial effects, but a new study revealed similar beneficial properties for the brain between caffeine and decaffein varieties. The differentiating factor seemed to be roasted, and dark roasting on top.

A compound called phenylindan is formed when baking coffee beans, with larger amounts being found in the darker roast. Phenylindan is also neuroprotective because it inhibits amyloid-beta and tau aggregation, both of which are involved in Alzheimer's disease. Researchers plan to further investigate whether phenylindans are able to enter the bloodstream and cross the blood-brain barrier.

Like marijuana, coffee consumption is associated with a lower risk of glioma brain tumor, so people in the highest coffee consumption category are 91% less likely to develop glioma than those in the lower category .14

Drinking one to two cups of coffee daily has also shown that it reduces the risk of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia, cognitive decline and cognitive impairment as compared to drinking less than one cup.

Top Tips to Reduce Alzheimer Risk

Alzheimer's disease has become one of the most urgent and tragic public health problems faced by the United States. With the number of affected people expected to triple by 2050, the Alzheimer's Association estimates that in the middle of the last century someone in the US will develop Alzheimer's disease every 33 seconds. 16

Medical marijuana may one day prove to be a useful tool for Alzheimer's prophylaxis and treatment, but it is not yet widely available to most people. Many other strategies that reach the root of the disease are available right now, such as brain neurotropic factor (BDNF) exercise, stress reduction, sleep optimization that is critical to cognitive function and nutritional support.

Important nutrients include animal omega-3 fats, magnesium, vitamin D and fiber. For example, adults with severe vitamin D deficiency may increase the risk of dementia by 125%, and vitamin D deficiency is associated with a significantly increased risk of dementia for all causes and Alzheimer's disease.17 Test your levels and keep your blood level 60 to 80 ng / ml all year round.

With regard to omega-3, the high intake of omega-3 fat EPA and DHA helps to prevent cell damage caused by Alzheimer's disease, thereby slowing progression and reducing the risk of developing a disorder. Ideally, make an Omega-3 index, which is done once a year to make sure you are in a healthy range. The Omega-3 index should be over 8 percent and the omega 6 to 3 ratio between 0.5 and 3.0.

I also recommend a cyclic or targeted keto diet to help you optimize your health by converting from burning energy-based carbohydrates to fat burning as a major fuel source. You can learn more about this approach to improving mitochondrial function, which is also the basis of Alzheimer's disease, in my book "Fat for Fuel."

One of the most common side effects like the sugar burner is that you end up with insulin and leptin resistance, which is the basis of most chronic diseases. Permanent fasting is another powerful tool to start your body by remembering how to burn fat and repair insulin / leptin resistance. Taken together, these lifestyle strategies remain your best defense to avoid dementia and keep your brain health strong.

For more information, do not forget to take a copy of "The End of Alzheimer's Disease: The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline" by Dr. Deale Bredesen, Director of the Study of Neurodegenerative Diseases at UCLA School of Medicine . It is full of prevention and treatment tools.

This article was brought by Dr. Mercolla.

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Sources and references

1, 3 Neuroscience 2018, November 6, 2018

2, 6 NPR 7 November 2018

4 Nature Medicine May 8, 2017

5 Fighting Aging 9 May 2017

7 Front Integr Neurosci. 2018 October 18; 12: 51.

8 CBS News 20 November 2018

9 Oncogene 2008 Jan 10; 27 (3): 339-46

10 Front Mol Neurosci. 2018 May 16; 11: 159.

11 Drugs. 2018 Nov; 78 (16): 1665-1703.

12 Front Pharmacol. 2017 Feb 3; 8: 20.

13 Front Neurosci. 2018 October 12; 12: 735.

14 Eur J Nutr. 2017 November 9.

15 Clin Nutr. 2017 Jun; 36 (3): 730-736.

16 Alzheimer's Association, 2016 Facts and Figures for Alzheimer's Disease

17 Neurology August 6, 2014


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