For Alzheimer's in Florida
Articles appearing on blogs and newspapers within the last few years claim that marijuana or its components, known as cannabinoids, could help treat or prevent dementia – commonly known as Alzheimer’s disease. Some studies in laboratory settings have suggested that marijuana could have effects of Alzheimer’s disease symptoms.
Some researchers have already proved that the use of cannabinoids can help manage the behavioural symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease such as aggression and agitation. However, more research is needed to prove whether the approach is effective.
Cannabis (marijuana) is a plant. People have been using its dried leaves; the flowering parts or the extracted resin recreationally – to invoke the feelings of happiness, sociability and relaxation. The primary component of the plant that causes the effect is known as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Uses of medical cannabis are usually with an aim of relieving pain and to treat nausea symptoms. Some doctors use it as part of chemotherapy.
How cannabis affects the brain
Cannabis targets endocannabinoid system, a brain system, which consists of CB1 and CB2 receptors. The CB1 receptor exists in the entire brain including hippocampus, which is the learning and memory centre. CB2, the other receptor, is found mainly on immune cells known as microglia.
The endocannabinoid system participates in the regulation of appetite, memory and response to stress. Marijuana’s THC component stimulates the CB1 receptors activities after binding to them, causing most of the side effects associated with cannabis use. The other component of cannabis, Cannabidiol (CBD) binds to both CB1 and CB2 receptors and prevents or dampens down the activity.
Why people associate cannabis with dementia
The hippocampus contains CB1 receptor, which is vulnerable to root causes of the Alzheimer’s disease. The damage contributes towards issues with learning and memory related to the disease. Studies also show that microglia, which contains CB2 receptor, influences development of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer disease sufferers have more CB2 receptors in the brain.
How medical cannabis treats Alzheimer’s disease
Some studies show that cannabis components, such as THC, remove Alzheimer’s earmark amyloid clumps from the body’s nerve cells. In laboratory studies, combination of CBD and THC improves learning and reduces amyloid crumps in mice. Some researchers also suggest that by targeting the CB2 receptor, cannabis controls activities of microglia therefore preventing the harmful over-activation of the brain’s immune system. Most of the studies involve a particular component of cannabis in isolation.
Nevertheless, there is little evidence to show that cannabis can prevent the root causes of Alzheimer’s disease. Studies have also shown that long time use of marijuana could lead to memory and thinking problems.
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