A Review on Studies of Marijuana for Alzheimer’s Disease – Focusing on CBD, THC

The interest in senile disease is rising gradually because aging society has become a more common phenomenon. Types of dementia include AD, vascular dementia, paralytic dementia, Lewy body dementia, carbon monoxide induced dementia, and trauma dementia. The onset of AD has continued to increase since 1995, while the prevalence of vascular dementia is gradually decreasing. Therefore, AD draws attention from researchers. AD is a disease that is caused by the gradual degeneration and death of cerebral cortical cells. The main symptoms are memory loss, cognitive decline and behavioral disorders. Histopathologically, overall encephalatrophy, senile plaques, and neurofibromatosis (NFT) are the common characteristics of AD. Acquired cognitive deficits caused by AD have a significant impact on the social life and activity of the patients. Moreover, active treatment of memory disorders greatly affects the prognosis of AD patients. Consequently, many researchers acknowledge the need for a therapeutic drug to restore the memory and cognitive damages of AD patients, and various studies have been conducted. There are three Cannabis species: C. sativa, C. indica,and C. ruderalis. Cannabidiol (CBD), which is attracting attention as medical cannabis, belongs to cannabinoids. Cacao, the main ingredients of chocolate, and the caryophyllene of black pepper also belong to cannabinoids.Cannabis contains at least 113 kinds of cannabinoids. THC (Δ-tetrahydrocannabidiol), CBD, CBG (Cannabigerol), and CBN (Cannabinol) are well-known cannabinoids and many studies have been conducted on them using rats have shown that THC killed cancer cells and reduced tumor size. It has been reported that CBG expands blood vessels and protects the nervous system. Since CBN is effective for inflammation, pain control, and insomnia, patches containing CBN ingredients are commercially available for human use. Despite these advantageous effects, its use is currently restricted in South Korea according to the Narcotics Control Act (Law No. 15939) in order to prevent health hazards due to drug abuse. However, cannabis is legally used for medical or recreational purposes in several states of the US. Although the medical efficacy and effects of cannabis have been actively studied, cannabis research is quite lacking in South Korea. Therefore, the objective of this study was to discuss the research trend of dementia treatment using cannabis for the purpose of providing the basis of cannabis use for medical purposes in the future.

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