A preclinical study published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease suggests low concentrations of THC lowered production levels of beta-amyloid proteins in the brain in a dose dependent manner. These toxic proteins accumulate and form plaques, which are believed to lead to Alzheimer's disease. Because the study used low concentrations of cannabinoids, researchers didn't observe any toxicity and the CB1 receptor was not upregulated. Low doses of THC could also effectively enhance mitochondria function without inhibiting melatonin's enhancement of mitochondria function. The study's abstract concludes, "These sets of data strongly suggest that THC could be a potential therapeutic treatment option for Alzheimer's disease through multiple functions and pathways."
Previous studies have found similar evidence suggesting the neuroprotective properties of THC and other cannabinoids could benefit Alzheimer's. The first study linking positive effects to Alzheimer's treatment and prevention dates back to 2006. Since then, an Israeli study found “adding medical cannabis oil to Alzheimer’s patients’ pharmacotherapy is a safe and promising treatment option" after observing 11 patients living with Alzheimer's for four weeks. Ten participants finished this trial.
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