Articles by Natural Health Author Barbara Minton
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Add Alzheimer’s and Cancer to the List of Diseases Helped by Marijuana
by Barbara Minton
(The Best Years in Life) Just about everyone who has witnessed a group of people using marijuana knows the conversation is different from the usual. Instead of sports, TV or politics, marijuana users choose topics you’d never expect. Their minds have been expanded, even if what they say seems off the wall to those who are not partaking. They are full of new ideas and new slants on old ideas. Why is this? A study from the Salk Institute published in June has found evidence that the psychoactive component of marijuana, known as THC, may stimulate brain function and remove the plaque buildup on brain neurons that is associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers used human neurons grown in a laboratory, and compromised them with protein fragments such as beta-amyloid. In a healthy brain, these protein fragments are routinely broken down and eliminated, but in people with Alzheimer’s, the fragments accumulate to form hard insoluble plaque.
The researchers exposed the neurons to THC and other compounds from marijuana. They found that THC was able to breakdown the plaque buildup. In addition, they observed a reduction in cellular inflammation which is important because inflammation makes it harder for neurons to properly communicate with one another, thus compromising brain function.
“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,” said senior study author Professor David Schubert.
According to the researchers, THC works on the endocannabinoid receptors that naturally occur in the brain. Physical exercise is also able to engage these receptors and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s, which is one of the reasons why natural health experts taut its benefits so often.
These findings support the results of previous investigations which showed the protective effects of THC and other cannabinoids on patients with neurodegenerative disease. Hopefully clinical trials with humans will soon fully document the connection.
Other research has underwritten the ability of marijuana to treat symptoms of HIV, chemotherapy, chronic pain, post traumatic stress disorder, irritable bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, and stroke.
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Marijuana kills cancer cells too
The National Cancer Institute (NCI), one of the National Institutes of Health, recently updated its website to add recent studies on marijuana that show it kills cancer cells. It included the following findings:
The NCI classifies these studies as preclinical, because they were done with animals.
Here is the NCI list of marijuana’s peripheral benefits for cancer patients
Studies about the health benefits of marijuana are popping up quite frequently. The old and the new are available at PubMed, the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Simply type pubmed.com to find them.
The real news here is that our government, the one that promotes prescription drugs and GMOs, has taken a moment to say something about the health benefits of marijuana. But if you are looking to prevent or treat cancer with marijuana, be prepared for arrest and imprisonment in most states of this union.
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About the author:
Barbara is a school psychologist and the author of Dividend Capture, a book on personal finance. She is a breast cancer survivor using bioidentical hormone therapy, and a passionate advocate of natural health with hundreds of articles on many aspects of health and wellness. She is the editor and publisher of AlignLife's Health Secrets Newsletter.
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