A preprint study claims that an ultra-low dose (ULD) of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) may help in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and improve neuroplasticity. THC was shown to reduce cognitive defects, possibly via the activation of CB1 and CB2 receptors. Activation of the former is believed to improve tau and amyloid pathology, while activation of the latter appears to aid in the removal of beta-amyloid plaque. Tau and amyloid pathology have been strongly associated with AD.
The Israeli team of researchers behind the study, Nitzan and colleagues, found that these effects could be produced via a single ULD injection of THC in 5xFAD tg-mice. (The dose was 0.002 mg/kg. If a similar dose was administered to a person weighing 70 kg (between 154 and 155 lbs), it would be 0.14 mg. For reference, the starting dosage for dronabinol is 2.5 mg.) For patients who find the effects of moderate or large doses of THC to be unpleasant, this treatment would allow them to experience the benefits of cannabis without additional effects.
If these findings are confirmed when the study is peer reviewed, it could open the door to a new line of research into the effects of cannabis on AD. To date, most research has focused on using moderate doses (between 2.5 mg and 7 mg of dronabinol daily) to treat symptoms associated with AD rather than its underlying pathology.
BioRxiv has more.