AD is the number one cause of dementia in the developed world. In the US, you stand a 50/50 chance of developing AD by 85 years of age. The risk increases further still as one ages past 85. In 2001, more than 5 million people with dementia live in European countries, and more than 4 million people were affected in the US alone. A 100% increase in the number affected is expected in developed regions by the year 2040 (Ferri et al., 2005). 5 At that point medical care expenses will probably bankrupt most country’s healthcare systems.
The authors speculate on a possible role of the CB2 receptor in AD: CB2 activation could provide beneficial effects in AD through several mechanisms including a decrease in local, microglia-mediated inflammation, and an enhancement of beta amyloid plaque (Aβ) removal. Beta amyloid is one of the hallmarks of AD. Drugs that decrease the formation of beta amyloid have shown promise in treating AD.
Perhaps with enough research dollars poured into the system AFTER marijuana is rescheduled we will find a cure for what has been aptly called the most burdensome healthcare issue in the world.
Editor’s Note: This article is fairly technical, as you can see from the excerpt, however, sheds light on how cannabis research is finding more and more potential health benefits.