Efficacy of Cannabinoids in a Pre-Clinical Drug-Screening Platform for Alzheimer’s Disease

| August 11, 2019

Penicillin celebrated its 90th anniversary last year. The story of the mold extract’s accidental discovery is legendary, taught in schools and touted in labs. In 1890, acetylsalicylic acid, commonly known as Aspirin, was synthetically modeled after its naturally occurring counterpart found in such common plants as birch, wintergreen, and willow. Medicine has benefited from nature throughout recorded history as a treatment for disease, pain relief, and prevention of ill-fated and untimely deaths. Cannabis prohibition negatively impacts medical advances However, due to social and political factors, researchers and scientists have been limited in the scope of which the cannabis plant and its medicinal qualities can be examined. Cannabis is most widely known for its CBD and THC compounds, but there are over 100 different cannabinoid compounds unique to the plant. Alzheimer’s disease and its devastating impact Neurodegenerative disease, or disease which affects the neurons of the brain, has taken a spotlight in the quest to discover new cures from the cannabis plant. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most prevalent of the neurodegenerative diseases that we associate with old age. An estimated 50 million people worldwide suffer from AD. Despite growing interest and funding into Alzheimer’s drug discovery, little progress has been made toward its prevention, treatment, or cure. Of the 244 compounds that faced scrutiny in clinical trials between 2002 and 2012, only one was approved. Factoring into these failed efforts is the narrow approach of targeting specific molecules. Contrarily, phenotypic screening is responsible for discovering many legal drugs on the market today. …

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