On Friday, Snoop Dogg lost a round of Family Feud on a marijuana-related question. The Internet was shocked. The question was: "Name something Grandma might do if she caught Grandpa smoking marijuana." The answers were all awful. But with the new research flowing in about marijuana—most of it favoring weed—those answers could be very positive. (See that transition?)
The newest research comes from a team studying marijuana and Alzheimer's, as noted by Forbes. In a lab, the psychoactive THC compound in pot removed toxic beta-amyloid from brain cells and reduced inflammation, the first test to do both. Amyloid plaque—found in patients with Alzheimer's—kills neurons and causes memory loss, while inflammation is associated with Alzheimer's—its role in the disease is yet unclear.
Right now, there is also cannabis in your brain—kind of. The brain naturally produces THC-like cells, called endocannabinoids, which scientists believe protect the brain against inflammation and amyloid damage. The test seems to indicate that marijuana protects the brain in the same way. To find a substance that reduces toxins and swelling, and one so easily produced—though, admittedly, far less easy to legally obtain—is highly promising, though more testing is necessary.
There is no cure to Alzheimer's, though an estimated 5.1 million Americans have the disease. Our bet is that a good portion of the population, Grandma included, wouldn't mind taking a hit every so often for a healthier brain.
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