How does this Weed work in Your Brain?
The science has new evidence that suggests that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) inhibits the formation of amyloid plaques, which causes neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. This health problem is caused by the formation of those proteins in the brain
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), an active compound that is found in marijuana, promotes the removal of toxic clumps of amyloid beta protein in the brain, which kick-start the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
The results of the conducted studies on patients with neurodegenerative disease support the evidence of the protective effects of cannabinoids, including THC.
David Schubert from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California, who was the part of the team stated: “Although other studies have offered evidence that cannabinoids might be neuroprotective against the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, we believe our study is the first to demonstrate that cannabinoids affect both inflammation and amyloid beta accumulation in nerve cells.”
The aim of the team was to test the effects of THC on human neurons grown in the lab, and their responsibility was to mimic the effects of the Alzheimer’s disease.
This special compound is responsible for the majority of marijuana’s psychological effects thanks to its natural pain-relieving properties. Additionally, it has been advertised as an effective treatment for many other symptoms, such as for treating of everything from HIV and chemotherapy to chronic pain, stroke, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
How does this compound work?
Passing from the lungs to the bloodstream, this compound attaches to two types of receptors, cannabinoid receptor (CB) 1 and 2, which are found on cell surfaces all over the body.
They can be found in the brain, and they are most concentrated in neurons associated with coordination, pleasure, thinking, memory, and time perception. They usually bind with endocannabinoids, a class of lipid molecules that are produced by the body during physical activity. During that process, they promote cell-to-cell signaling in the brain.
How that weed works you can understand if you watch the video:
The findings show that by binding to these receptors, THC could be having another effect on aging brains, because it helps the body to clear out the toxic accumulations.
There is no evidence what causes Alzheimer’s disease. However, there is an evidence that it is caused from a build-up of two types of lesions: neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid plaques.
Neurofibrillary tangles are caused by defective tau proteins that clump up into a thick, insoluble mass in the neurons, while the amyloid plaques sit between the neurons as dense clusters of beta-amyloid molecules, which is a sticky type of protein that easily clumps together.
The reason for the appearance of these lesions in the brain is unclear, but studies have linked inflammation in the brain tissue to the proliferation of neurofibrillary tangles and plaques. So, the focus of solving this problem should be on finding something that eases brain inflammation, and at the same time encourages the body to clear out these lesions. This is the exact way to finding the first effective treatment for Alzheimer’s ever.
The researchers at the Scripps Research Institute, in 2006, found that THC inhibits the formation of amyloid plaques by blocking the enzyme in the brain. Schubert and his team have confirmed that THC can also ensure their survival and to eliminate a dangerous inflammatory response from the nerve cells.
One of the team members, Antonio Currais said: “Inflammation within the brain is a major component of the damage associated with Alzheimer’s disease, but it has always been assumed that this response was coming from immune-like cells in the brain, not the nerve cells themselves.”
He, also explains that the team was able to identify the molecular basis of the inflammatory response to amyloid beta, which led them to the conclusion that THC-like compounds may be involved in protecting the cells from dying.
The next step of the team should be to observe the link between THC and plaque build-up in a clinical trial and reduced inflammation.
The team has reportedly found a drug candidate called J147 that appears to have the same effects as THC. This compound might be the way they can test the effects of THC.
The results have been published in Aging and Mechanisms of Disease