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Can we call it medicine yet?
August 18, 2006 10:49 AM   Subscribe

The active component of marijuana, 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), competitively inhibits the enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE) as well as prevents AChE-induced amyloid -peptide (A) aggregation, the key pathological marker of Alzheimer's disease.
posted by Mr_Zero (49 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
*reads article*

*smokes blunt*

Wait, what was that article about again?
posted by anomie at 10:54 AM on August 18, 2006


As if I needed another reason to get high.
posted by quadog at 10:54 AM on August 18, 2006


Dude no wonder I feel so smart right now.
posted by evilelvis at 10:56 AM on August 18, 2006


Good news.
posted by OmieWise at 11:00 AM on August 18, 2006


Fuck yeah. With Azheimer's on both sides of the family tree, I know my plan.
posted by fourcheesemac at 11:02 AM on August 18, 2006


*reads article*

*smokes blunt*


*remembers to use bathroom not pants when shitting*
posted by Mr_Zero at 11:02 AM on August 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


an obscure joke . . .

(giggles) french tooooooooast. (/giggles)
posted by fourcheesemac at 11:03 AM on August 18, 2006


420 SMOEK BEER EVERDAY.
posted by basicchannel at 11:06 AM on August 18, 2006


Hmm, is it possible to aquire a lifetimes immunity in ones 20's... or do you have to keep at it?
posted by scheptech at 11:12 AM on August 18, 2006


How silly. Marijuana is a Schedule I drug, and is therefore of no medical value.
posted by owhydididoit at 11:14 AM on August 18, 2006


... so it's temporary memory loss now to prevent permanent memory loss later.

guess I'll never get alzheimer's...
posted by djrock3k at 11:17 AM on August 18, 2006


Stoners are funny and all but let's not forget that Alzheimers actually kills people. It doesn't just make you forget, it doesn't just make you an old goofball, it kills you like it killed my grandmother.
posted by pwb503 at 11:27 AM on August 18, 2006


It doesn't just make you forget, it doesn't just make you an old goofball, it kills you like it killed my grandmother.

My uncle died from it 2 years ago and my grandfather will succumb to it soon. It is a bad way to go. Both of them were very dynamic men.
posted by Mr_Zero at 11:30 AM on August 18, 2006


If, after seeing how thoroughly politicized the fight over making Plan B available over the counter was, you still think marijuana (or even synthetic THC) will be recognized as a medicine at federal level in our lifetimes, you must be smoking something.
posted by Joe Invisible at 11:31 AM on August 18, 2006


All pot has ever done for me is trigger extreme, suicidal manic episodes, but perhaps that trumps Alzheimer's in that it will get my sorry, ininsured ass out of the way of you stoned normal folks much faster.
posted by eegphalanges at 11:33 AM on August 18, 2006


This only lends credence to my theory that plants are infinitely better sources of medicine than anything man-made. We just have to sort how which ones do what.
posted by Parannoyed at 11:34 AM on August 18, 2006


All pot has ever done for me is trigger extreme, suicidal manic episodes

Are you sure you are not smoking PCP instead of weed?
posted by Mr_Zero at 11:36 AM on August 18, 2006


"All pot has ever done for me is trigger extreme, suicidal manic episodes"

There are lots of drus that help other people that could have that effect on you.
posted by BeerGrin at 11:40 AM on August 18, 2006


Joe Invisible - you still think marijuana (or even synthetic THC) will be recognized as a medicine at federal level in our lifetimes, you must be smoking something.

Not the same stuff you're smoking.
posted by daksya at 11:42 AM on August 18, 2006


I was going to post this yesterday, but I've recently posted similar articles (1|2).

The most intriguing aspect of this development is two-fold. First, delta-9-THC was more than twice as effective as donazepil at inhibiting acetylcholinesterase activity. Donazepil is one of the medications used currently to slow the progression of Alzheimers. Second, one of the problems with developing medication to treat diseases of the central nervous system (eg. Alzheimers, Parkinsons, etc) is to find a delivery system that is capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier.

That won't be a problem here, obviously.

Oh yeah, fuck the FDA.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 11:44 AM on August 18, 2006


i_am_a_Jedi - First, delta-9-THC was more than twice as effective as donazepil at inhibiting acetylcholinesterase activity.

Not only that, it was "considerably superior" at inhibiting plaque aggregation. Here's the full paper.
posted by daksya at 11:50 AM on August 18, 2006


Here, gramma, smoke this.
posted by effwerd at 12:01 PM on August 18, 2006


Dude, like, what if weed was legal, man. Dude, we'd smoke every day man.
posted by ninjew at 12:03 PM on August 18, 2006


... how thoroughly politicized the fight over making Plan B available ...

Um... birth control? And abortion? Kind of gets some people really upset.

A lot more than marijuana does.

Just sayin'.
posted by lodurr at 12:12 PM on August 18, 2006


Oh yeah..

i_am_a_Jedi - Oh yeah, fuck the FDA.

Actually, more like 'fuck NIDA and DEA'
posted by daksya at 12:14 PM on August 18, 2006


I thought when the yuppies got old and starting getting all manner of aches and pains, pot would get legalised in a heartbeat. People are so dumb - they could be growing the solution to so many of their problems right in their own back garden.
posted by stinkycheese at 12:15 PM on August 18, 2006


Actually, more like 'fuck NIDA and DEA'

Them too, along with all of their enablers.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 12:17 PM on August 18, 2006


Wow, talk about ironic.
posted by MikeKD at 12:28 PM on August 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


Joe Invisible - you still think marijuana (or even synthetic THC) will be recognized as a medicine at federal level in our lifetimes, you must be smoking something.

Except when they do did
posted by shawnj at 12:34 PM on August 18, 2006


THC is active in models of Parkinson's disease as well. However, compounds that are active in experiments such as this are seldom efficacious in the human diseases they are intended to model. I'll get excited when someone shows an effect in a rodent or monkey model. (And even those models do not translate 100% to human disease).
posted by batou_ at 12:34 PM on August 18, 2006


"I'll get excited when someone shows an effect in a rodent or monkey model."

I'd pay good money to watch that.
posted by bonecrusher at 12:38 PM on August 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


Parannoyed writes "This only lends credence to my theory that plants are infinitely better sources of medicine than anything man-made."

Unfortunately nature can't bribe politicians contribute to political campaigns the way big pharma can.
posted by clevershark at 12:56 PM on August 18, 2006


So the problem with growing, medicalizing and selling overseas is....? I mean were I a Dutch citizen I’d be all over this. Are other countries using THC for it's medical benefits?
posted by Smedleyman at 1:02 PM on August 18, 2006


Smedleyman writes "Are other countries using THC for it's medical benefits?"

There's Canada.

For now anyway.
posted by clevershark at 1:24 PM on August 18, 2006


Obviously the rave generation are finally entering the medical industry, what with this and the recent Ketamine results.
posted by empath at 1:32 PM on August 18, 2006


What recent ketamine results?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 1:48 PM on August 18, 2006


Discussed here, dirtynumbangelboy.
posted by Zozo at 1:55 PM on August 18, 2006


they could be growing the solution to so many of their problems right in their own back garden.

And big pharma would profit from this HOW, exactly?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 2:58 PM on August 18, 2006


The real problem is that no one has developed a strain of the stuff that reproduces faster than people can eradicate it. Once someone does that, and someone plays 'jonny potseed' as it were, the game is over. It'd be like trying to eliminate grass. So to speak.

If it were ubiquitous, it would be impossible to eradicate, and hence, the 'problem' would go away.

Not that I'm advocating such a project. Not at all. Perish the thought.
posted by geekhorde at 3:13 PM on August 18, 2006 [2 favorites]


Smedleyman writes "Are other countries using THC for it's medical benefits?"

There's Canada.

Also Israel.
posted by Balisong at 5:38 PM on August 18, 2006


Fight alzheimer's.

*sssffwwhhhhhht*.......(cough)

Fight harder.
posted by longsleeves at 6:14 PM on August 18, 2006


There was an article about the mixed results of medical cannabis in New Scientist recently. the article is premium access, but it's also printed on this site.

Medical Cannabis Is A Blunt Tool
Now it seems that even with purified cannabis extracts, changing the amount, time or place of a dose could produce completely opposite effects on the body, according to evidence presented at the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) meeting in Vienna earlier this month. This could explain why the medical benefits have proved so difficult to harness.

In one study, Vincenzo Di Marzo of the National Research Council in Pozzuoli, Italy, boosted levels of an endocannabinoid called andandamide in rats engineered to develop an Alzheimer's-like disease. This appeared to protect the rats from memory loss and nerve degeneration. But if the rise was prolonged, cannabinoids became ineffective or even damaging.
posted by bleary at 6:34 PM on August 18, 2006


That's true of most drugs. One shouldn't expect cannabinoids to be different in that respect.
posted by clevershark at 9:16 PM on August 18, 2006


Are you sure you are not smoking PCP instead of weed?

When I smoked with my friends, it didn't seem to have the same effect on them, so I'm guessing either they're inured to the effects of angel dust, or I'm really not a good candidate for marijuana. The pot we shared which gave them the munchies put me in four-point restraints. Life ain't fair, but I'll always have beer. I tend towards grand, smiling hangovers where I'm grateful for the pain of daylight. Atypical, I know.

There are lots of drugs that help other people that could have that effect on you.

Good, just don't test them on me!

I do get tired of wake-n-bakers needing to validate their various poison paths with dubious health claims. I worked at a pot club/cafe in San Francisco's Tenderloin, where I witnessed the grand parade of self-pathologizing customers using canes -- the same customers I've seen in full gallop down Turk Street swinging the same canes as weapons! Once, someone left their walker in the cafe, and no one came by to claim it. I told the clientele we'd had a miracle. I didn't know whether to credit the marijuana or the coffee.

Legalize it for recreational use, just so when I walk up Market Street it doesn't reek of skunky homeboys offering me "shrubs" for the three blocks between 5th and 8th streets. They can all get back to dealing crack and black tar heroin, the other forgotten health tonics.
posted by eegphalanges at 11:13 PM on August 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


eeg you are one wound up tight mother fucker...you need to have another joint and relax
posted by evilelvis at 7:09 AM on August 19, 2006


This won't change a thing. They'd rather have us crazy than high.
posted by crunchland at 8:06 AM on August 19, 2006


Sure enough, clevershark but I wanted to make it clear that cannabis isn't a miracle drug. (nor anything merely by virtue of being "natural".)

I'm all for decriminalizing it and studying it. Though I will be bummed out to watch big pharma repackage the results and charging a premium for them, or worse, big tobacco turn into big weed. or whatever. small is beautiful, man.

...I'm going to be extremely careful about ever trying it becuase it's likely I'd have similar reactions as eegphalanges' (I've been diagnosed with bipolar2). but my curiosity will win out some day, I'm sure.
posted by bleary at 8:16 AM on August 19, 2006


Sure enough, clevershark but I wanted to make it clear that cannabis isn't a miracle drug.

Compared to most other drugs, it is.
posted by mek at 9:57 AM on August 19, 2006


Next time someone tells me I'm getting old, I'm just going to say, "shut up! my peptides are aggregated."
posted by blacklite at 11:22 AM on August 19, 2006


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