Quick hit: Cannabinoids for Alzheimer's

Some recent highlights and curiosities from the amazing world of cannabis science and therapeutics.
By Adrian Devitt-Lee On June 02, 2019

Cannabinoids have been proposed for numerous neurodegenerative disorders. As a matter of fact, scientists employed by the US government filed a patent in 2001 for Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants, citing their potential for treating Alzheimer’s disease among others. Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies recently examined isolate cannabinoids and their combination in a preclinical assay of neuroprotection. They checked 11 cannabinoids“ effects on 5 measures of cellular stress that are relevant to Alzheimer’s. Many cannabinoids (CBDV, CBG, Δ8-THC, etc) prevented oxidant-induced cell death. The acid cannabinoids did not show much promise in these models — CBGA was actually cytotoxic at large concentrations, and CBDA and THCA were generally less effective at preventing cellular stress (than their neutral counterparts, CBD and THC). On average, Δ8-THC, Δ9-THC, CBD, CBC, and CBN were potent and effective neuroprotectants in nearly every test. Combining THC with CBN had a synergistic neuroprotective effect. The combination of THC and CBD was additive, but not synergistic. But strangely, some of the experimental cell lines lack cannabinoid receptors, which suggests that these cannabinoids work through a number of mechanisms beyond just the endocannabinoid system! (see CBD, THCA here.)

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Adrian Devitt-Lee, a Project CBD contributing writer, is a graduate from Tufts University with a degree in mathematics and chemistry.