How Cannabinoids May Slow Brain Aging

Health & Family

Stoners aren’t known for their memory prowess but a new review suggests that drugs similar to marijuana’s active ingredients may hold promise for preventing— or even reversing— brain aging and possibly Alzheimer‘s and other degenerative brain diseases.

Since the mid 2000’s researchers have been building an appreciation for the power of marijuana-like substances that make up the brain’s cannabinoid systems. In animal experiments, for example, synthetic compounds similar to THC—marijuana’s main psychoactive component—have shown promise in preserving brain functions. A 2008 study even demonstrated that a THC-like substance reduced brain inflammation and improved memory in older rats.

MORE:Ballot Initiative of the Day; Will Recreational Marijuana Get the Green Light in Three States?

The latest review, published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, suggests that activating the brain’s cannabinoid system may trigger a sort of anti-oxidant cleanse, removing damaged cells and improving the efficiency of the…

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