Cannabinoid Administration Delays Huntington’s Disease Progression In Animals — Time To Initiate Human Trials

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director June 20, 2011

    The combined administration of the plant cannabinoids THC and CBD (cannabidiol) provide neuroprotection in rat models of Huntington’s Disease (HD), according to experimental data to be published in the Journal of Neuroscience Research.

    Huntington’s Disease is an inherited degenerative brain disorder characterized by motor abnormalities and dementia produced by selective lesions in the cerebral cortex and, in particular, the striatum. There are presently no known conventional therapies available to alleviate HD symptoms or delay HD-associated striatal degeneration.

    An international team of investigators from Spain, Italy, and the United Kingdom assessed whether THC and CBD-rich botanical extracts could delay the progress of the disease in laboratory animals. Authors reported, “[O]ur data demonstrate that a [one to one] combination of THC and CBD-enriched botanical extracts protected striatal neurons against … toxicity.” By contrast, the administration of individual, selective synthetic cannabinoid agonists did not produce similarly favorable outcomes.

    Investigators concluded, “In our opinion, these data provide sufficient preclinical evidence to justify a clinical evaluation of [one to one THC to CBD] cannabis-based medicine … as a neuroprotective agent capable of delaying disease progression in patients affected by HD, a disorder that is currently poorly man- aged in the clinic, prompting an urgent need for clinical trials with agents showing positive results in preclinical studies.”

    Additional studies documenting the disease modifying potential of marijuana is available in the NORML handbook, Emerging Clinical Applications For Cannabis & Cannabinoids: Fourth Edition, available online here.

    Additional information on this study will appear in this week’s NORML news update. To receive these e-mail updates free, please sign up here.

    32 responses to “Cannabinoid Administration Delays Huntington’s Disease Progression In Animals — Time To Initiate Human Trials”

    1. thomas cline says:

      when you do human studies , i like to be first volenteer

    2. lo9an says:

      The scientific evidence for marijuana as medicine and a valuable neuroprotectant is as strong as ever! And yet people are being incarcerated for enjoying this beneficial plant!

    3. laurie catanzaro says:

      i think that they should seek further testing on this ..My grandma passed away and had dementitia and watching her go down hill was awful..If this is something that can help people with this huntingtons disease they should keep trying .

    4. Chrisv says:

      Cancer, AIDS, MS, Alzheimers, Huntingtons, Schizophrenia, Depression… Doesn’t someone in congress HAVE or KNOW someone with these problems?? Where is the compassion? Where is the empathy? Where is the justice in denying treatment????

    5. […] Cannabinoid Administration Delays Huntington’s Disease Progression In Animals — Time To Initiate…June 20th, 2011 By: Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director […]

    6. […] effect of one to one THC/CBD on treating Huntington's. Cannabinoid Administration Delays Huntington’s Disease Progression In Animals — Time To … […]

    7. shaun says:

      If i have a terminal disease and see this research, why cant i try smoking cannabis on my own while i wait for the research to finish? If i have a diseace that is going to kill me, and this might help….whats the worst that can happen? Hell…some states allow assisted suicide!

    8. Chris A says:

      It’s ridiculous that the law is to arrest those in possession of marijuana.
      Those who conceal truth to make money cannot hide from the Creator.

    9. Ll says:

      It’s easy to see why the DEA is so afraid of medical research on cannabis.

      Imagine discovering a new drug that’s safer than any other drug, treats dozens of terrible diseases (including cancers), is not physically addictive, is cheap to produce, and who’s main side-effect is a mild sense of euphoria.