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

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 thoughts

  1. 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!

  2. 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 .

  3. 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????

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. I have huntingtons, and at this time only a few symptoms.
    I also vaporize weed, or eat weed every day.
    I can clearly feel that if i over do it, my symptoms get worse.
    So if the article is true, im sure the part about 1 to 1 THC/CBD is important. If i could test it i would, but even though i have access to plenty good weed, i don’t know how i would be able to make an extraction, or something, that is 1 on 1.
    ATTENTION : Paul Armentano.. Could you provide me with some more info about the ”international team of investigators from Spain, Italy”. Since i do live in Europe i would be interested in maybe joining the human trials, or atleast follow them.
    [Paul Armentano responds: The corresponding researcher for this study is Javier Fernandez-Ruiz at Complutense University in Madrid:]

  8. my wife has advance stage hd she also has a high jene count been smoking pot every day for the last few years i beleave it has slowed it down i thought she would stop walking 2years ago but she can still take a few steps

  9. It’s absurd that marijuana is being held back from research into potential medical uses. Thank God we don’t control the entire world and others are free to do research. Wake up America and quit demonizing marijuana. The Prohibitionists are the ones that are responsible for our lack of progress. Vested interests have no compassion and only have greed.

  10. Prohibitionist propaganda pullulates the air – and – the threat of enforcement is still high on their agenda. The only way to end this total madness – and – stop them dead in their tracks – is to release Scientific Conclusion. That’s the only way to reach a still bedazzled public. No one can argue with the science. They can make laws opposing scientific evidence – but – that only increases the public’s view of their mendacity and demonic agenda [neither are good]. We can simply embarrass them out of office – and – out of the hearts and minds of the American people.

  11. This article is more scientific evidence. Attorney General Holder, I read on Cannabis Culture, is supposed to clarify the Feds’ position on the Feds leaving medical cannabis alone. Looks like each member of Congress needs another reminder of all the research in favor of cannabis. Favorable results, not just what the DEA and ONDCP and other organizations with prohibitionist missions have.
    Point is if Congress isn’t keeping abreast of the latest on cannabis, then at least Holder has to consider it and the states with medical marijuana laws AND(a big AND!) how he just can’t deal with it without a deputy AG, you know, but the political reason is to keep the Feds from interfering with the implementation of DC’s medical cannabis laws. Laissez faire in regulation on the part of the Feds and any criminal justice actions are completely left to the District’s or state’s authorities. Feds just stay back, stay out of the way. Legalization can happen all the faster, and no great drawn out Congressional debate really needs to occur.

  12. Does anyone honestly believe our scumbag government is ever going to do anything to help the American people? Somebody fill me in please, What in the world is it going to take to kill the demon that has posessed the Feds? Life used to be so much fun before, you know when we still had a right to privacy over our own bodies.I’ve never felt so much hate as I do for our government.I’m open for suggestions Norml…

  13. It is crazy that our government will keep meds from
    Citizens who need it because they think they are helping them.
    I have been smoking for 25 years and watched my uncle die from
    Cancer…he was arrested buying weed once because he couldn’t
    Eat because of chemo!!! Our govt killed him not cancer

  14. Is there anything this damn plant can’t do?
    [Editor’s note: Legalize itself. For this to happen we all need to be involved…and even re-double our efforts!]

  15. Our government appears to have a creative relationship with facts. I agree with Noam Chomsky, who said that the War on Drugs couldn’t be about stopping drug use since it hasn’t in forty years. So, the question is, what’s it about, really? My best guess is greed.
    The good news is that we have more and more evidence to push back with. Let’s join forces and do it. This is our country, to take back.

  16. “I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. I will never, by any word or act, bow to the shrine of intolerance, or admit the right of inquiry into the religious opinions of others. On the contrary, we are bound – you, I, and everyone, to make common cause, even with error itself, to maintain the common right of freedom of conscience. We ought with one heart and one hand hew down the daring and dangerous efforts of those who would seduce the public opinion to substitute itself into – tyranny over religious faith.” Thomas Jefferson.

  17. since a main Alz. drug (1.2bn sales in 2010) has been deemed ‘ineffective’ (but still prescribed) why not let patients choose between the ineffective drug that has a variety of side effects or a safe natural alternative (Cannabis)?

  18. i watched my dad crumble to nothing from this disease, and i’m not sure whos gonna get it next , me or my sis.,but what i do know is that cannabis is great for everyone , used responsibly. you better believe it’s safer then any medication in your cabinet. i love cannabis, and this earth has truly blessed us with this plant, and i’m sick of being told whats legal and whats not. everything the gov. puts their hands on kills more people then the drugs they make illegal. i’m getting so sick of living here.

  19. My mom has Huntington’s Disease and she smokes everyday! She says it helps her so much, screw the studies just legalize it already!!!

  20. Sorry for your mum. I am glad that she is getting relief from cannabis. She might consider edibles at night, like a good indica-infused cookie before bed, as that would let her take a larger dose without impairment during the day. Then during the day it would be excellent if she could use a vaporizer. I hope you live in a medical marijuana state so that she has easier access to this excellent medicine. If not, then I know you see how important it is to, at the very least, bring safe legal access clinical cannabis to every state.
    It is time for each one of us to let our elected representatives know how we feel about that. Again, and again.

  21. I am 22 years old, and i have been diagnosed with huntingtons diease. As most of you pry know its strictly heriditery, and it was passed to me from my father. My father got it from his mother. Out of 8 of my fathers siblings 7 had it, and of the 7 that had it, only 1 of them used marijuana at all, let alone a long period of time, my father had used it since vietnam on christmas day 1968. Out of all the 7 siblings with the diease, my father was the only one who did not suffer the “chorea” Flailing effect of the diease, and really showed signs alot later in life (55) vs 35-45. Ive been using since i was 12 years old, via a triple blown pyrex bong, and i wll until the day i die. legal or not. But please new york, please legalize it.

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