Huntington's disease could be helped through new developments in Scotland involving the medicinal properties of cannabis.
The team of experts at the University of Aberdeen discovered that a naturally-occurring molecule in marijuana - cannabidiol - does not provide the high associated with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and as such could be used as an "acceptable drug treatment".
It is believed that many strains of production cannabis are aimed at ramping up the THC content at the expense of cannabidiol, meaning that smoking marijuana could, if anything, exacerbate the problems associated with Huntington's disease and multiple sclerosis.
Dr Bettina Platt, commenting on the findings, said: "We are hoping that our findings can instruct the development of cannabidiol-based treatments for disorders related to mitochondrial dysfunction such as Parkinson's disease or Huntington's disease."
Earlier this month, the NHS reported findings from research in the US published in journal Cancer which linked testicular cancer to the use of cannabis by young males.
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