Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia What if there was a cure? Cannabis

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Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia What if there was a cure? Cannabis

Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia What if there was a cure Cannabis



Alzheimer's research roadblock Federal government

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Promising new research conducted last year at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies has shown that marijuana extracts may hold a key to treating Alzheimer's disease. The next step: To conduct tests on mice and, if the results are promising, move on to human trials. But Salk Institute researchers have run into a major hurdle, and not a scientific one: the federal government. The Salk Institute is based in La Jolla, California a state that legalized marijuana last November but it is a federally funded research institute.

Marijuana is still listed as a Schedule I controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) of 1970. A substance is placed in Schedule I if it is determined to have no currently accepted medical use, a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision and a high potential for abuse. Other Schedule I classified drugs include heroin and LSD. Because the Salk institute receives money from the National Institutes of Health, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the lab must abide by federal law, which prohibits it from having any unapproved strains of cannabis in its facility without the proper registration.
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The researchers at the Salk lab were able to conduct the initial phase of their research without obtaining the proper Schedule I registration, by working with only about a milligram of cannabinoids chemical compounds found in the marijuana plant from chromatography standards that are found in methanol, a toxic alcohol solution. These solutions are normally used by labs that do drug testing on individuals as positive controls in the assays, and Salk purifies it from that.

In order to acquire marijuana for further studies, the lab must first apply to the Drug Enforcement Agency, which carries out the application process jointly with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Salk researchers sent in their application in December. They are still waiting for approval, with their research at a standstill.
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"It's so blatantly obvious that this plant should be studied in greater detail, and yet we have this major roadblock stopping it," said Dr. David Schubert, a professor at The Salk Institute and the senior scientist on the study. "It's hard enough to get funding without having to worry about legal issues on top of it. It's odd and somewhat demoralizing."

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Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia What if there was a cure? Cannabis

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