On the street there are many myths about the relationship between memory loss and marijuana use. How true are these rumors? Is it true that regular cannabis use affects users’ memory? To answer these questions, we propose to take as a reference a recent study of cannabis and Alzheimer’s. Which talks about the relationship between the two, the possible benefits of marijuana use to treat this terrible disease and an important warning about the consumption of THC in healthy patients.
But before entering fully into the relationship between cannabis use and Alzheimer’s treatment, it is necessary to clarify some questions that help us better understand the results of the study.
What is Alzheimer’s?
Before we start talking about marijuana as an alternative treatment for Alzheimer’s, we must first describe what Alzheimer’s is and what causes this terrible disease.
Alzheimer’s is a degenerative disease related to senile dementia. Reason why the patients suffering from this disease are mainly elderly people. Which, thanks to the excessive accumulation in the brain of a substance known as beta amyloid, begin to suffer serious memory losses as well as their brain faculties.
Once these plaques appear, the progression of the disease follows a path widely known by the medical community:
The accumulation of this substance in the brain of patients begins to generate plaques within the body that block brain functions. The presence of these plaques, in addition, generates a strong brain inflammation while consuming part of the brain mass of the patients. Both elements combined lead users irremediably to dementia.
But what if we could find a cure for this terrible disease? This is the question that will guide us in the rest of the article.
Marijuana as a medicinal plant
Having explained what Alzheimer’s is and the origin of this unfortunate disease, it becomes necessary to mention the medicinal properties of the marijuana plant.
Marijuana is a plant with incredible genetic wealth. Its different cannabinoids are studied daily by the scientific community thanks to their medicinal potential. In this sense, the best known cannabinoids are THC and CBD.
These cannabinoids are currently studied mainly in isolation and separately. However, recent studies have tried to demonstrate that the sequential effect of marijuana enhances the results of these attributes when applied together, increasing the benefits of each component and reducing its side effects.
In any case, the differences between one and the other, applied in isolation are notorious. CBD, for example, has no psychoactive effect. So its approval in the use of anti-inflammatory medications has been gradually accepted by various countries around the world.
Instead, THC is the cannabinoid to which the psychoactive effect of marijuana is attributed. But not everything is fun with this component of cannabis. Since there is also scientific evidence of the benefits of THC in the treatment of addictions, nausea or Glaucoma. As well as medical evidence of the benefits of this component in the treatment of patients with bulimic behaviors caused by HIV or chemotherapy.
THC and Alzheimer’s treatment
THC could help reduce the formation of beta amyloid plaques in the brain of patients.
This study, based on a scientific experiment with laboratory mice to which THC was supplied for a continuous period of 6 weeks. It shows that this cannabinoid reduces the brain inflation associated with Alzheimer’s. Furthermore, within its positive effects, it notably enhances the memory capacity of the study subjects.
In concrete terms, that is, with figures, the study showed that mice with Alzheimer’s traits to which THC was supplied, showed 20% less beta amyloid plaques. Which resulted in a significant reduction in brain inflation and a stop in the progression of the disease.
While this study has been conducted in rodents and does not necessarily mean that it has the same positive results in human patients, it certainly raises the hope that marijuana will serve as an alternative treatment for Alzheimer’s.
THC consumption in healthy patients Does marijuana affect memory?
This recently published study adds to the long list of experiments that try to scientifically demonstrate the benefits of using marijuana for medicinal purposes. But it’s not all good news for regular cannabis users.
As the same study showed that, paradoxically, although THC applied in patients with early Alzheimer’s is effective in reducing the progression of the disease, this component generates the opposite effect in healthy patients.
That is, the consumption of THC in healthy people, as determined by the study, can lead to memory problems and cognitive reduction in learning.
Everything that is consumed in excess by the human being in the long run is negative for the organism. That a scientific study demonstrates the risks of indiscriminate cannabis use does not become a Damocles sword for users who use marijuana. It is only a wake-up call to responsible consumption. And although there are important benefits when consuming this ancient plant, it does not mean that there are no risks when it is consumed indiscriminately.
In the coming years, further studies in human patients are expected to determine exactly how cannabis can help against such a disabling and serious disease such as Alzheimer’s.