Saturday, January 10, 2009

Cannabis cure for Alzheimer's

By Libby Spencer

There are relatively only a handful of studies on the efficacy of medical marijuana because it's so difficult to get funding, much less authorization to conduct it, but here is one that shows great promise for marijuana based medicines that could cure Alzheimer's. Or at least mitigate some of its worst effects.

New research suggests that one of the active ingredients in marijuana—THC—and similar compounds could possibly prevent or even reverse one of the most devastating memory disorders of all: Alzheimer's disease.

In a paper published in the December 2008 issue of the journal Neurobiology of Aging, researchers found that a compound that affects the same brain receptors as THC reduced brain inflammation and improved memory in older rats. (The rodents were the human equivalent of age 65 to 70.) Although there's debate over the role played by inflammation in Alzheimer's, many researchers believe it's an important part of the process that causes dementia.

Marijuana, an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, has been used medicinally for 10,000 years without one recorded overdose. It has already been proven to be useful in the treatment of a wide range of diseases. It's a shame that millions of terminally ill patients are denied its benefits because legitimate scientific inquiry is so often shut down by bureaucrats whose own interests are better served by continuing its total prohibition.

(Cross-posted at The Impolitic.)

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  • If it made you feel sick, it would be legal. The history of Prohibition II is not well known although the facts are out there - and they're scandalous. The long and the short of America's drug prohibitions is that it started as a way to keep the prohibition people on the government payroll. Forged studies and racist propaganda forced it through congress and it's such a massive industry, it has the power to write laws for us and against our will.

    By Blogger Capt. Fogg, at 9:27 AM  

  • That's it in a nutshell Fogg.

    By Blogger Libby Spencer, at 1:14 PM  

  • Good post, Libby. I had no idea of the promise of this intervention. We should all support whatever it takes to make inroads into the absolute devastation of Alzheimers, to its victims and to their families.

    By Blogger Carol Gee, at 2:50 PM  

  • It's truly a shame Carol. Cannabis shows great promise as a medicine but the arguments immediately fall into accusations about motives -- e.g. the dreaded backdoor to full legalization -- and as Fogg points out there are a lot of people with a vested interest in keeping the perception alive that's it's an evil drug instead of a relatively harmless plant.

    And of course, we haven't even mentioned the Big Pharma's interest in keeping it illegal so they can keep plying their expensive poisons instead. A huge chunk of the anti-drug movement is funded by Big Pharma.

    By Blogger Libby Spencer, at 5:32 PM  

  • One of the early financial supporters of the prohibition of hemp was William R. Hearst who saw cheap commercial hemp as a serious challenge to his huge wood pulp holdings. He was more than willing to run fictional stories about cannabis crazed criminals with permanently damaged brains ravaging our virgins - just like the stories he printed about what the Spanish did (but didn't do) in Cuba. We went to war over that one.

    The Mexican nickname Marijuana became attached to the stuff as part of an attempt to tie it to the sinister ambitions of illegal immigrants. The first ant-drug laws in the US included language about "the heathen Chinee."

    It's worth looking into the forged medical report submitted to congress, which the AMA immediately denied and still denies, that insists that cannabis causes permanent brain damage leading inexorably to violent and sexual criminal behavior. No real study has ever implied that, while alcohol seems to be a factor in a majority of violent crimes. Here we are, more than 70 years later and our legislation is still based on a fake report. Why? because it employs enormous numbers of people, justifies encroachments on civil rights and means huge profits for our privatized prison industry.

    The whole "gateway" fallacy should be questioned in light of the fact that we're now about to have our third consecutive president who used it - and then there's George Washington.

    By Blogger Capt. Fogg, at 11:24 AM  

  • Hey Fogg. A little late but if you see this, there are groups that push back on the false memes but unfortunately, they die hard.

    By Blogger Libby Spencer, at 10:28 AM  

  • By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:25 PM  

  • Are you kidding me? My wife is dying from Alzhiemrs at 55 years old. When you try to justify the use of medical Cannabis as a magic potion to cure Alzheimer’s, you are insulting the millions out there who are dying as a result of brain cell death. Memory is not the issue fool; memory loss is a symptom of cellular death. The real issue is that these people cannot metabolize amyloid protein and that protein is suffocating the brain cells. Go find some other false premise but leave this one to real scientific research. And fools beware that this movement is subversive and contrary to American Law. Change the Law first. Don't break it. That's un American and that does not help the economy. We are wasting billions just trying to get un American people to obey the law. They are encouraging the illegal use and transportation of narcotics plain and simple. America could use the money to feed it’s hungry but these freaks are so selfish they will say anything to have their way. What fools would spend their lives in pursuit of shit! How deluded they are.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:14 AM  

  • You are right. One of the most tragic diseases anyone can die from. And worse these days - through modern diagnosis more sufferer's are aware.

    Even if it only makes her giggle and eat chocoloate, while the tears run down you cheek like they run down mine, aren't you willing to try anything in you love for her?

    And you're right, the West pumps $millions into a failed war, that pumps $billions into criminal and terrorists hands, when it could be leglised, regulated and taxed to pump the same amount, $billions into health care and research to cure demons like Alzheimers.

    Drop the pilot, eat some weed and laugh with hear for that's all you can do until someone pays for the research.

    I wish you the best, brother. Until then cry with me as I cry with you.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:06 PM  

  • It is very sad to see a man attempting to care for his wife who has alzheimers and is not given the best meds available. Doctors know that aricept and other prescribed meds used to inhibit acetocholinesterase do not work nearly as well as cannabis. They also know that cannabis prevents the formation and reverses already formed placques which is not duplicated by any other prescribed med. Even Marinol (synthetic THC) stops nighttime agitation and at 5 mg twice per day shows trends toward relearning lost functions. Going through alzheimers today without having prescribed medical cannabis is criminal and any doctor failing to tell you so should be sued.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:08 AM  

  • "Are you kidding me? My wife is dying from Alzhiemrs at 55 years old. When you try to justify the use of medical Cannabis as a magic potion to cure Alzheimer’s, you are insulting the millions out there who are dying as a result of brain cell death. Memory is not the issue fool; memory loss is a symptom of cellular death."

    Actually, THC has the ability to entice adult neurogenesis ( the growth of new brain nerve tissues )

    there are specific systems going on in your body, the digestive system, the circulatory system, and a newly "discovered" system called the endocannabinoid system.

    what this does is basically mimic the hemp plant in a series of biochemical reactions to control your brain chemistry. if you are afraid of a plant than you can mimic the said effects by ingesting EFA's or essential fatty acids such as the Omega 3,6,9 variety.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:35 AM  

  • so i guess buddy with the 55 year old wife that has alzheimers(sorry to hear that btw) thinks that Rosa Parks was unamerican and everyone that practiced civil disobedience to change laws that were unjust are also unamerican :( pretty sad buddy

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:02 PM  

  • New cannabis-based treatments could improve memory loss in Alzheimer's sufferers, scientists claim.
    One of the 400 compounds in the drug can significantly slow memory problems caused by the disease, tests show.
    Although there is growing evidence that cannabis can trigger harmful mind-altering effects in users, scientists say the medicinal compound in question, cannabidiol, is not a hallucinogenic ingredient.
    They are calling for human trials to be funded after researchers from Israel and Spain successfully conducted tests in mice.
    Grief 'is the heaviest burden for carers of Alzheimer's patients'
    Children have double the risk of Alzheimer's if both parents have condition
    Details were unveiled in London yesterday at a symposium of cannabis experts hosted by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.
    One of the researchers, Professor Raphael Mechoulam from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who found that symptoms of type 1 diabetes can also be helped by cannabidiol, warned against the use of cannabis by Alzheimer's patients because the psychoactive ingredient THC could have damaging effects on memory.
    But Dr Clive Ballard, of the Alzheimer's Society, said: "We need robust clinical trials into the potential benefits of non-psychoactive components of cannabis.
    "It is important for people to note that these treatments are not the same as recreational cannabis use, which can be potentially harmful."
    • Adults whose parents were both diagnosed with Alzheimer's are at increased risk of developing the disease, according to U.S. researchers. Twenty-two per cent developed Alzheimer's, compared to an estimated six to 13 per cent of the general population the study, published in the Archives of Neurology, found

    Read more:

    Do your research before you post. Telling alzheimers patients to smoke/eat cannabis could harm them. Only cannabidiol has been shown to possibly help, not THC.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:46 AM  

  • Many people only know about THC and not the other synergistic cannabinoids which cannabis carries. Cannibidol (sp?) or CBD has been shown to have anti-psychotic effects, and also doesn't produce the "high" which THC does.

    By Blogger n.a, at 9:33 AM  

  • Eating cannabis allows the liver to change Delta 9 THC into Delta 11 THC. It does not have the same "euphoric" effect as when the medicine is smoked or, better, vaporized. Vaporized, btw, is interesting in that burning at higher or lower temperatures effect (affect? *Still* haven't figured that out) the body differently.

    There is a vast amount of respectable research published regarding cannabis. Avail yourselves of it. Look up Granny Storm Crow's List for a list of published research by Ivy League and other Universities, the AMA, NIH, and others. She has compiled a 420+ page reference, comprehensive as well as critical observations, including when cannabis is not indicated as a treatment.

    Also, nearly $15 Billion has been spent on the "Drug War" *so far* this year. How much Alzheimers research could be done with that?!

    By Blogger DragonTat2, at 12:34 PM  

  • It works. I have been taking care of my Mom for 8 years now. She has Alzheimer's. My Dad is a retired Physician. We had to do something to keep her alive. We did the research and held our own clinical trial. It took away her agitation especially at night when she wouldn't sleep
    and improved her appetite when she wouldn't eat. Some of her neurological functions that had been lost came back. So please don't tell me and my 93 year old father that the therapy doesn't work. Proof is the only thing we needed. We got that proof as she is still alive and doing much better than she had been doing prior to our clinical trial. End of story.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:26 PM  

  • To the most recent poster. What treatment did you use for your mother? Smoke, pill, edibles, or pure cannabidiol? My grandfather is 91 and in the early stages of Alzheimer's. He is having trouble eating and metabolizing. Plus chronic back pain and short term memory loss. I don't want to drug my grandfather, but it sure as hell beats the oxycodone they prescribed him.. Please get back. Thank you and God bless.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:30 PM  

  • Hello there... I was wondering if you could please email as I have a few quick questions. I'm in the same boat with my mother, and my father and I are now looking into using cannabis to help her. I would also like to know how your mother is doing. Please contact me at Thank you in advance.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:40 PM  

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