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Cannabis 'could hold off dementia'

Cannabis 'could hold off dementia'
7th February 2013

A team of researchers in Australia are currently researching an unlikely theory that marijuana may contain a chemical that can help to prevent dementia and possibly reverse memory loss.

The scientists from Neuroscience Research Australia have identified an ingredient in cannabis - cannabidiol - that they believe can benefit the brain, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Unlike the other main component of the drug, THC, cannabidiol does not have psychoactive properties, but has been shown to act as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.

Dr Tim Karl has conducted a study on mice engineered to have symptoms similar to Alzheimer's disease and results of tests showed their ability to remember and recognise objects and other mice improved when administered with cannabidiol.

He highlighted the existence of anecdotal evidence supporting this theory, which suggests patients using medical marijuana have also seen reductions in dementia symptoms.

"Most of the components [of marijuana] are detrimental, they worsen your cognitive performance and have psychoactive effects … cannabidiol seems to not have any of these negative effects," Dr Karl explained.

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