Scientists believe declassification (of DEA) of cannabis could help cure Alzheimer's disease
Scientists at the Salk Institute say reprogramming cannabis holds great promise for treating dementia and Alzheimer's disease, but laws make research difficult. So declassifying cannabis as a Schedule I substance could be a game-changer.
Alzheimer's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that has been linked to the build-up of toxic protein fragments called plaques. They are placed between neurons and interfere with cellular communication and the distribution of nutrients. Affecting more than 5 million Americans, Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia. In addition, it will cost the nation an estimated amount of 259 billion in 2017...
The cannabinoids found in cannabis could effectively help remove fragments of proteins that are dangerous to the brain. These fragments are associated with dementia disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. Despite the promise that cannabis offers, restrictive federal laws have hindered further breakthroughs ...
Dance a study conducted last year, researchers at the Salk Institute (a renowned biomedical research facility in California), found that administration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), effectively destroys the accumulation of beta-amyloid protein plaques. As well as the resulting cellular inflammation ... Scientists used human neurons developed in the lab to create this plaque buildup.
Restrictions of the DEA
The next step for researchers at the Salk Institute is to conduct tests on mice. And, if the results are encouraging, they will move on to human trials. To do this, however, researchers must overcome the onslaught of legislative and logistical hurdles. Since cannabis remains classified as a Schedule I substance… Indeed, anyone interested in studying its effects must obtain a DEA Schedule I research registration. And, in most states, a Schedule I research license from a state-controlled drug agency.
Cannabis equipment must be obtained from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Indeed, it is the only source of federal, legal and research cannabis. These additional hurdles can push the start date of research projects to six months. Because the Salk Institute is funded by the federal government, it must comply with federal law. So researchers were previously able to get by without getting the proper registration. This by working with about a milligram of cannabinoids from the chromatography standards found in methanol.
Declassification of Cannabis from Schedule I
Lead author of the study, Professor David Schubert, believes he and his team will have even more breakthroughs if their efforts were not hampered by the restrictions caused by cannabis classified as a Schedule I substance.
"It's a totally unexplored area, because the researchers were arrested by the DEA, because of the way the agency classifies marijuana," Schubert told CNBC. “The bottom line is that basically no clinical trial has been done to treat the use of marijuana-based drugs in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease or any other neurodegenerative disease. It is not fair that they have this type of saying about something that could be of great help.
“People are dying from this disease and there is nothing there for them… Marijuana is not physically addictive, although it can be psychologically addictive like sugar, salt, and fat, none of which is is classified as a Schedule I drug. It's ridiculous when in California anyone can legally go to the corner store and buy marijuana. "
The Salk Institute submitted its application to the DEA in December and is still awaiting approval.
“It's so obvious that this plant should be investigated in more detail and yet we have this last block of road that stopped it,” Schubert said. “It's pretty hard to get financing without having to worry about the legal issues that come with it. It's strange and a little demoralizing. "