Study: THC Removes Toxic Protein that Causes Alzheimer’s From the Brain

The psychoactive compound of marijuana rids the brain of the toxic protein that causes Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and other neurodegenerative diseases are thought to be caused by nerve cell death, caused by the the accumulation of a amyloid proteins.

The build-up of the proteins triggers a toxic inflammatory response that eventually leads to brain cell death.

There are no drugs that significantly inhibit this process.

Enter cannabis, which is now legal for medicinal purposes in 36 states.

A 2016 study found cannabinoids, such as THC (or tetrahydrocannabinol), stimulate the removal of the beta amyloid protein, block the inflammatory response caused by the protein, and therefore protect against nerve cell death.

The finding supports previous studies that found cannabinoids to be effective against neurodegenerative disease.

“Although other studies have offered evidence that cannabinoids might be neuroprotective against the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, we believe our study is the first to demonstrate that cannabinoids affect both inflammation and amyloid beta accumulation in nerve cells,” says one of researchers, David Schubert from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California.

Schubert and his colleagues tested the effects of THC on human neurons grown in a lab.

THC is not only responsible for the majority of marijuana’s psychological effects – including the high – it’s also an effective treatment for the symptoms of everything from HIV and chemotherapy to chronic pain, post traumatic stress disorder, and stroke.

The compound works by attaching to cannabinoid receptors found all over the body.

In the brain, these receptors are most concentrated in neurons associated with pleasure, memory, thinking, coordination and time perception.





90 responses to “Study: THC Removes Toxic Protein that Causes Alzheimer’s From the Brain”

  1. Celeste Lalonde Avatar
    Celeste Lalonde

    I am very interested in your findings.
    My 59 year old husband has recently been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s and, conventional medicine is the only approach being offered to him. I am continually being shut down when I inquire about nutrition, supplements or alternative therapies such as medical marijuana.
    We live in Canada and, since marijuana is legal here, I have already begun giving him CBD oil daily. I am unsure as to the doses required for optimum effect. I have not, until now, heard of the benefits of THC for those people with cognitive impairments. Are there any other resources that you might share with me that I may better care for him?

    1. Ashby Collins Avatar

      Hi Celeste, I have a friend that can help you. Find me on social media! Ashby Collins

    2. Teresa Donahue Avatar
      Teresa Donahue

      Try sauteed cannabis in coconut oil. on toast,in capsules or MCT oil if you can afford it. To make Rick Simpson oil the videos are easy to find.

    3. Cindy W. Avatar
      Cindy W.

      Just read the book: In Pursuit of Memory. You may find it helpful.

    4. Joy Avatar

      You also may want to try organic coconut oil. Research the improvement effects it has on Alzheimer’s.

    5. Deb Staires Avatar
      Deb Staires

      These articles drive me crazy when the author hasn’t responded to any questions here so I will. I am a cancer survivor, liver, caused by HepC while I was a Corpsman during the Vietnam War. We didn’t wear gloves back then, there was no HIV or HepC for us to catch so. The person who actually has the answers you are looking for is not the author of the article but the doctor who is doing the research and the institution where this research is occuring . . .David Schubert from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California. There is a website there and you can get to the studies for yourself however, as a retired public science teacher with a Doctorate and parents with the same level of education, my father has already passed from dementia and my 91 year old mother is on the same slippery slope and I don’t want to go there myself. So from the studies and research I’ve dug into about this angle of cannabis use and the need for THC not just CBD and THCA or the other cannabinoids that are important here. What the THC in the oil and I’m talking about ingesting full extract cannabis oil as an herbal supplement kind of thing, not an attitude adjustment kinda way at all, does is it eats at that plaque that forms between the neurons in the brain. It is a neuroprotectant by nature and if we’d been feeding our endocannabinoid systems all these decades this may have never even become an issue at all although I’m highly suspect of Monsatan products as well for both dementia and cancers of all kinds. The best research is being done in Spain, Great Britain and the BEST is in Israel. Most of the research studies can be accessed through pubmed online. I hope this helps. I’m known as Arizona Jane in my own state. 😉

      1. RBW Avatar

        Where in Az? I’d love to meet you. I have a doctorate in cog. Disorders.

      2. Crystal Avatar

        Great information! Would love to read more about your findings!

      3. Bob Avatar

        Thanks for the in depth info

      4. Catherine Avatar

        Thank you for sharing your knowledge and some direction.

      5. Linda (Baker)Stancil,the late Dottie J. Zehner-Baker-Claybaugh, Gary L. Baker Avatar
        Linda (Baker)Stancil,the late Dottie J. Zehner-Baker-Claybaugh, Gary L. Baker

        My brother passed away from ALS at 42. Since then, 1 cousin has died & 1 has ALS, now. She’s a nurse, but is slowly wasting away. All on Momma’s side of family. We are willing to submit saliva or blood samples. My Mom, Bro, & I submitted blood to a research project up north.

      6. Brian Avatar

        Hi Arizona Jane, you appear to be someone who appreciates evidence based research. Are the studies from Israel available at PubMed or Medline or are you using a different database?

    6. Linda Avatar

      I was using CBD oil for multiple, post surgical pain and chronic Lyme disease. The CBD oil helped to a point. My pain management Dr suggested cannibas. I was told it hits more receptors with the THC then just straight CBD.

    7. Batman Avatar

      Look up cannibis oil success stories. They will help on dosing. F.b.

    8. Shanartisan Avatar

      I noticed that the article specifically states that the psychoactive component is the effective ingredient, so you might want to verify whether your brand of CBD oil has any. If not, you might look into getting him some THC-bearing edibles.

    9. Pauline Sherratt Avatar
      Pauline Sherratt

      Unfortunately there are different types and causes of Alzeimers. My dad was diagnosed with early onset in his 60’s. But when he was 59 he had a vascular incident (heart attack that did not show on ECG) so I don’t think CANNABIS would have helped him. I think you are gonna have to observe and decide for yourself as it may be all about the individual and not general studies. My thought are with you and don’t forget to have a life yourself!

      1. The Naturopath Avatar

        I think you may be confusing Alzheimer’s with dementia in general. There are many different types of dementia, ranging from vascular dementia, CJD, DLB, ARBD, FTD etc but they are not actually classified as Alzheimer’s. Basic Alzheimer’s is caused by the accumulation of Amyloid plaques and Tau tangles. These occur when the body no longer clears up the malformed or tangled proteins. Alzheimer’s may also present with added complications such as Lewy bodies. Symptoms can vary according to which part or arts of the brain are affected.

    10. Rev. Meri Eitzen Avatar
      Rev. Meri Eitzen

      they do have some CBD oil with THC in it…Live in Ontario…is available…I’m trying the CBD oil without the THC…first week…does help with sleep…but next time going with a bit of THC in the oil…Also Coconut oil…is proven very helpful and much data on line…use it instead of butter…on everything…3 oz (120ml/ 6TBSP) a day really has shown some great effects…

    11. Mike Avatar

      Hey Celeste, they are saying here that THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis is possibly an aid to assisting in reducing Alzheimer’s symptoms. Dosing wise will be difficult as this research is pretty recent and hasn’t been tested etc. (as most other cannabis related treatments) but the general rule of thumb is to start off with small doses of full spectrum cannabis oil (THC & CBD’s) and see how your man handles being a bit stoned and slowly build up to larger dosings , baring in mind that being stoned produces symptoms of forgetfulness and diminished ability to focus on tasks at hand, laughter and increased appetite. No one has ever died from cannabis overdose. For more information look up Cannabis Oil Survival Stories on Facebook and start your research from there.

      1. Rene Avatar

        I’ve heard that if you don’t like the high or can’t handle the high you can use the oil like a suppository like you would use a hemorrhoid suppository. have you ever heard of this as I really don’t want to smoke and am not sure about the oils. I have never done it and don’t want to feel high. I have smoked but many years ago. Also would doing this before I go to bed work better?

        1. Jana Avatar

          No matter how you ingest it, you will get high. Kids here soak tampons in vodka and insert them- you get drunk quickly and parents can’t smell it on your breath. Some have

        2. Jana Avatar

          No matter how you ingest it, the drug is the same and you will get high.
          Kids here were soaking tampons in vodka and inserting them- parents can’t smell it and they get drunk quickly.

      2. Aunt Linda Avatar
        Aunt Linda

        For me as a retired, craft store art instructor, if I had a mental block at work & couldn’t figure it out;I’d go home & smoke. It worked every time.

    12. Reimund Avatar

      This article from 2014 published in a peer journal seems to reflect the validity of the claim here that THC (in small doses) does appear to slow the accumulation of the protein in question down, thereby slowing the advance of Alzheimer’s.

      I am a former recreational user of Marijuana; I gave it up over a decade ago now. Even though it is legally available in Canada (where I also reside), I would still recommend seeing a Dr with these articles and asking for a prescribed dose. It seems worth a try; Alzheimer’s is a terrifying sentence to receive. God bless you and your husband.

    13. Susi Avatar

      This woman’s book is a fantastic with lots of dietary and supplement recommendations.

    14. Edward Fahey Avatar
      Edward Fahey

      Go to a website called, “Phoenix Tears” dot com. Rick Simpson will explain what you have to do in order to extract THC oil from green buds of the “Indica” strain of marijuana. Go to any dispensary, and ask for “Indica.” Get 3 or 4 different strains of that weed, and follow Simpson’s instructions. You and your husband will be very glad you did.

    15. Marvin Berman PhD Avatar

      Consider a clinical trial that only involves sunlight on the head for five minutes twice a day.

    16. Cathy Avatar

      Also look into the ketogenic diet. Some studies show it also helps.

    17. A Willer Avatar
      A Willer

      I hope this helps- if you try please advise. Also, I will share that medium chain triglycerides do seem to help (around 8-9). I use 1000 mg coconut oil supplement since 2016 on my loved one and her progression is not as bad as others. She is 91.5 and I am thankful to say, still knows me. She was diagnosed in 2014. God bless.

    18. Tim McCue Avatar
      Tim McCue

      Dear Celeste. THC has many medical advantages. Once a taboo now a medical cure all. Marijuana in different applications the horrible side effects of pharmaceutical pills why not try THC. It’s natural and organic. I hope you and your Husband find that THC helps him and he feels better soon.

  2. Sharon Dix Avatar
    Sharon Dix

    What about me? Any documentarians of how it helps?

  3. Lu Ann Brown Avatar
    Lu Ann Brown

    Does THC-a do the same thing. I am currently not “decarbing” it and cook it for six hours in coconut oil so that I can get it without the high. Haven’t found much that helps understand the difference and would love to know more. Than you! Getting great repent aid for anxiety this way.

    1. John Grady Avatar
      John Grady

      By cooking the vegative material you are more than likely decarbing your cannabis and converting your THCa into THC. Heat is the catalyst for conversion of the naturally occurring THCa into THC.

    2. Deb Staires Avatar
      Deb Staires

      It is the THC that get to the CB2 receptor and only works carboxylated. I understand your fears but if you will take it at night, starting with a drop on a finger and work your way up, it won’t even effect your head anymore. You build up a tolerance to that as well. I am fighting cancer and have been ingesting full strength oil for 4 years but have to do a “reset” sometimes and it will get my head so I have to start small again and work it back up.

    3. Deedee Avatar

      You can still get high from not decarbing it. How are you cooking it? Or you can just buy CBD oil.

    4. Tami Berman Avatar
      Tami Berman

      any heat will activate the THC so your cooking for six hours is activating the THC. If you eat your oil, don’t you get high? I sure do. I’ve been using it as a moisturizer and muscle rub instead.

  4. Thomas Avatar

    Who did the study? What was the sample size and control? How diverse was the sample?

    1. Masooma Avatar

      Yeah, I was looking for sources as well.

  5. Mary Avatar

    If this is true, then why do I feel like I have such memory loss while on cannabis?

    1. Deedee Avatar

      It is a side effect, when it wears off your memory improves. Try not to get high of you have important things to do, like bills. Lol

  6. Barbara Thompson Avatar
    Barbara Thompson

    Sounds like it could be helpful

  7. Vince Avatar

    CBD Oil is available on the open market…
    THC isn’t at this time am I correct, my wife has dementia I need sound advise can you help me?

    1. Alyze Avatar

      Hello. I am not certain where you reside but in Canada you can get a referral from your doctor to a Cannabinoid Clinic/doctor who asses and provides a prescription for a specific amount of cannabis – oil or plant. Both my wife and I have a medical licence through our cannabis doctor.

    2. Peter Avatar

      Hey Vince, you can get oil with or without THC. I am Canadian and we have unlimited options of legal Cannabis and I am quite sure that you hasn’t access as well. I would do a little internet research and track down a qualified supplier in your area or one of the states where it is legal. Just be careful on the THC and start slowly with a low dose. I get mine in a pill . Good luck!

    3. Rebecca Avatar

      In Oregon it’s legal and in California. My mom has Alzheimer’s and I just started her on thc a few days ago. We shall see how that goes. She’s been on 3 tablespoons of coconut oil for two years now which I believe has slowed the process down. Also try a Mediterranean diet

    4. David Raymond Avatar
      David Raymond

      First a number 6630507 then the name Cannabidiol or CBD use and type in the number or the name. You will find that the patent#above Thehe US Government Health and Human resources dept has had a patent on since 2003 If you email me I can offer further Information that may help or you may need Let me know of this comment by saying “CBD Comment” in the Subject of your email.

  8. kevin green Avatar
    kevin green

    Revelation 22:1-3 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.
    No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him.

    1. Tzadok Liebowitz Avatar
      Tzadok Liebowitz

      This is the most buck wild comment

    2. Atheist Bob Avatar
      Atheist Bob


    3. Aunt Linda Avatar
      Aunt Linda

      Beautiful words!!! Thank you. God is good. He gave us cannabis, not pharmaceuticals (they are man-made). I trust God. Not Big Pharma or Big Brother. Keep the light shining bright! Keep the faith! God can show us how to heal ourselves with cannabis. All we have to do is listen.

  9. Stan Wells Avatar
    Stan Wells

    how does attaching to the receptors make it “an effective treatment for symptoms of everything from HIV and chemo to …” and don’t the other cannabinoids in cannabis and other plants do the same without the psychological effects?

    1. John T Grady Avatar
      John T Grady

      THC works as an agonist to assist other meds like chemotherapy to pass through more effectively the blood brain barrier. In chemo it helps in many ways. Some benefits are with the reduction of chemo side-effects. Others are like for brain tumors by assisting the chemo to penetrate the blood brain barrier delivering more medication to the tumors.

    2. Marvin Berman Avatar

      An effective treatment should be protective as well as therapeutic. Check out

  10. Darryl W Williams Avatar

    Location to purchase and how

    1. Maggie Avatar

      In Redding, CA there are several shops that sell marijuana. My personal experience with MJ got rid of my anxiety and several other health issues but CBC oil did not. If you don’t like the high that MJ gives you then smoke it b4 you go to bed. It makes you tired anyway and my herniated disks in my neck had caused excruciating pain and when I smoked my boyfriend said that was the only time he heard me laugh. God puts things on this earth for a reason and marijuana is the 11th wonder of the world as far as I’m concerned. I hope you heed my advice and pass it on. Good luck

  11. Veronica Avatar

    Is there a scholarly article to back up this research. I have a loving duster just diagnosed with Alzheimers, if this has good research to back it up, Ud like to discuss it with her neurologist.

  12. Beth Avatar

    My concern would be on the long term effects on the dopamine receptors. Can the receptors be repaired?

    1. FearGodBeStill Avatar

      Dude, where’s my car?

      When I use to smoke, that was a common question. I don’t know if it would really help me.

    2. John Grady Avatar
      John Grady

      In recent studies it depends on the dosing. Higher doses tend to reduce dopamine production where lower doses increase dopamine production. Granted all of this is in mouse models and sometimes it doesn’t translate fully into humans.

    3. Deb Staires Avatar
      Deb Staires

      Dopamine neurons do not contain any cannabinoid receptors, therefore cannabinoids cannot act directly on this.

  13. Jennifer Stanley Avatar
    Jennifer Stanley

    Very encouraging!

  14. Lorene Warwick Davis Avatar
    Lorene Warwick Davis

    what are the effects possible in Lewy bodies dementia?

  15. Kathy Avatar
    Kathy Here’s a link to a scientific article about this study. My husband passed away two years ago from Lewy Body Dentia, which is related to Parkinson’s. I hope to see more research on this.

  16. Michael Avatar

    What do they mean by “physioactive” chemicals? THC? CBD?
    One of these is in medical marijuana, the other is the one that makes a user “high”.

  17. Sandy S Avatar
    Sandy S

    I would appreciate info on where to buy it. My husband has been diagnosed with dementia.

  18. James Tripp Avatar

    My mother used to take several anti-depressants and anti-psychotics but they have been eliminated via Cannabinoid Therapy

    At her worst my mother was argumentative, verbally abusive, emotional distraught, constantly agitated and restless, and always confused and emotionally volatile.

    She is happy with her baby in towand she is always very curious as to what is going on outside her door!

    Salk Institute for Biological Studies
    10010 N Torrey Pines Rd
    La Jolla, CA 92037
    June 27, 2016
    Cannabinoids remove plaque-forming Alzheimer’s proteins from brain cells

    Preliminary lab studies at the Salk Institute find THC reduces beta amyloid proteins in human neurons.
    This is a group for people to share and obtain information on how to treat and care for Alzheimer’s patients using cannabis oils and extracts.

  19. Diane Avatar

    Click on 2016 STUDY and get more info:

  20. Dr. Matthew D'Ortona Avatar
    Dr. Matthew D’Ortona

    Interesting theory, but the study is only an explorational observational study, appears somewhat devoid of statitistics to assess significance, has no control group and does not address alternative hypotheses for the reported outcome. It’s a nice first step, but light years away from being able to make the leap to say that THC stops/prevents/treats nerocognitive disorders.

    1. Charley Avatar

      Here are links to a couple of articles which discuss the effects of low doses of THC and other cannabinoids. These articles contain links to the actual studies so they are much more useful for evaluating whether someone may want to try it. Some pretty interesting research being done in this area.

  21. Karin Avatar

    Cannabis can also be used to make fuel from both cellulose and seed, healthy building material, a strong resilient fiber, it cleans contaminated soil, prevents weeds, eliminating need for glyphosate, grows on marginal land, and provides a functional food in its seeds and oils. 250,000 products can be made with cannabis hemp instead of petroleum based chemicals. What the world needs now is hemp, sweet hemp. It is a huge part of the shift we must make from synthetic to natural if we are to save the planet.

  22. Brad Avatar

    How about responding to the previous inquiries? I’m all for this if it works. Can you provid anything to back what you posit?

  23. Marian Elizabeth Hennings Avatar
    Marian Elizabeth Hennings

    How often does one need to use cannabis to obtain the benefits?

  24. Eugenia tickle Avatar
    Eugenia tickle

    Can we get it through agency protecting other meds?

  25. Brenda Avatar

    Would love link to entire study with dosages and administration routes.

  26. Ken Ledenbach Avatar
    Ken Ledenbach

    Sorry, but citing anecdotal information can offer false hope to Alheimer sufferers and their families. These claims can only be validated by appropriate scientific studies. Please be more circumspect in posting such information. Lives are at involved.

  27. Stacy Avatar

    Remember back in the day they used to say smoking marijuana will kill your brain cells? Where is this study written ? Dosage, blind study? Need some more concrete info to look into

  28. Ken Avatar

    Could you post the source reference? I’d imagine that a number of us would like to read the actual peer reviewed research finding.

  29. mike Avatar

    Well then, I have armor-like protection against brain-cell death. I mean BIG TIME!

  30. Will Smith Avatar
    Will Smith

    The overstatement on how marijuana is good for stroke, HIV, chronic pain, PTSD, makes me think here’s another blown out of proportion article on how good marijuana is for you. Marijuana is not a good lifestyle choice. Most studies link low thc levels with any of the limited benefits to medical marijuana.
    The study is interesting and I plan to read it and see what it really says but this article is just more jingoism for the burgeoning marijuana industry. I hope kids don’t believe the hype.
    I always say, let the FDA regulate it just like we do any other drug, we don’t need special laws saying one drug is ok by us politicians, what about cocaine or MDMA, why leave them out?
    The advertisements about how beneficial weed is for you is becoming almost as absurd as the government putting it on schedule 1 and refusing to study it or allow it for medicinal purposes, but, it’s all absurd.

  31. Rosemary Avatar

    Is there a link to the study or protocol for administration of THC for Alzheimer’s?

  32. Bill F. Avatar
    Bill F.

    What some people here are COMPLETELY MISSING …
    Individuals, themselves, loved ones, friends, & others who have just been diagnosed … who are showing signs of Demetia, Alzheimer’s disease,
    Or other serious diseases are DESPERATE… TO FIND SOMETHING TO TRY …. THEY DON’T HAVE TIME TO WASTE … waiting for more studies, research, etc. to go on for possibly years, while they are WASTING AWAY …. PEOPLE WHO ARE DESPERATE …(time is not on their side can’t afford to wait) THEY ARE WILLING TO TRY JUST ABOUT ANYTHING…

  33. Jenny Avatar

    Make sure you use a full.spectrum cbd that inclucdes the legal 3%or less thc….not the thc free cbd
    Hempworx full spectrum is a great 1.

  34. Lane Avatar

    In Europe they treat Alzheimer’s with a supplement called Alpha GPC. Look up some info on it- 1200mg a day is the dosage. It’s very promising and no side effects. In addition try THC-A tincture- it’s non psychoactive. My mom takes both- she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s 6 yrs ago and she still lives alone and is doing well.

  35. kevin joseph Avatar

    Excellent post. I was checking continuously this blog and I’m inspired! The condition impairs memory and cognitive abilities and is characterized by the buildup of toxic protein deposits in the brain.