Article written by David DiSalvo for Forbes here.
Some potentially good news about cannabis compounds is wafting from the Salk Institute labs in San Diego. Researchers discovered that the main psychoactive compound in marijuana—tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)—and a few other active compounds remove amyloid beta proteins from lab-grown neurons. Amyloid is the toxic protein known to accumulate in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. The compounds also significantly reduced cellular inflammation, an underlying factor in the disease’s progression.
This isn’t the first study to investigate whether the active compounds in cannabis might play a role in battling Alzheimer’s, but it’s the first to find a double-tap effect against both amyloid beta proteins and inflammation.
“Although other studies have offered evidence that cannabinoids might be neuroprotective against the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, we believe our study is the first to demonstrate that cannabinoids affect both inflammation and amyloid beta accumulation in nerve cells,” said Professor David Schubert, senior author of the study, in a Salk Institute press release.