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David Schubert, the senior author of the Salk Institute study on THC and Alzheimer’s disease.

A new study suggests that marijuana may have potential for protecting brain cells against Alzheimer’s disease.

Published in the June 2016 issue of Nature, the study found that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive compound in marijuana, and other active cannabis compounds could block the progression of the disease.

Lab tests by the Salk Institute, a Southern California, non-profit research organization, showed that marijuana compounds could remove harmful amyloid beta proteins, the plaque that accumulates on brain cells, which is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. The compounds in the study also significantly reduced cellular inflammation, a major contributor to the onset of the disease.

For more on the study, read L.A. Weekly‘s article on the effect of marijuana on Alzheimer’s disease.

Graphic: NORML Stash Blog

By Ron Marczyk
A 2007 study, performed at Harvard University (yes, that Harvard) by Anju Preet, PhD and the Division of Experimental Medicine, is further evidence that supports the study performed by Donald Tashkin, M.D. (reported in Toke January 27) originally published in 2005, indicating that THC appears not to start or promote lung cancer, and if anything, appears to slow or stop lung cancer.
In other words, THC, marijuana’s main active ingredient, appears to have anti-tumor effects!
Dr. Preet’s conclusion is that the THC is the main player in stopping cancer. Tetrahyrocannabinol appears to stop epidermal growth factor (EGF) released by lung tumors. EGF is used for angiogenesis (it’s a growth factor released by a tumor to encourage new blood vessel growth to feed it; this also allows the growth of the tumor and allows it to spread).
When mice (whose biological functions are identical to humans’ in many ways) were implanted surgically with human lung cancer cells which were allowed to start growing and then treated with THC for three weeks, the cancer tumors shrunk by 50 percent in weight, and there was a 60 percent reduction in the number of tumors in their lungs.