Mom couldn’t remember her way to church or how to brew coffee. Her frustration and sadness were overwhelming to mom and us, the folks that love her, alike. Dad did his best, but many mornings she hurled her coffee cup at him and refused to eat; my 160lb mom dwindled to scant 100lbs in weeks. It was me my dad called when he could no longer cope – daily.

Mom’s been dead 25 years, but even way back in her final months I was a died in the wool pot head. I knew what marijuana could do for both temperament and appetite and I knew my mom was suffering. Tea and cookies improved my mom’s attitude, appetite and quality of life.

Thirteen years after mom died, in 2006, WebMD published an article suggesting that THC, a major chemical compound in marijuana, could be integral to creating new Alzheimer’s drug therapies. The medical website cited a study conducted by Kim Janda, PhD, Director of the Worm Institute of Research and Medicine, which found preliminary indications were that THC blocked the formation of plaque that clogs Alzheimer’s patients brains better than available medications. A subsequent study by Salk Institute also found THC beneficial in reducing chemical compounds in the brain thought to contribute to Alzheimer’s and the neurodegenerative diseases.

Though it remains listed as a Schedule 1 drug, the US Federal Government has patented the CBD molecule, a chemical component of Marijuana, as a neuroprotectant. All the research, including a 2014 study published in The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, indicates that cannabis has potentially beneficial effects in preventing neurodegenerative disease and improving the daily life skills of Alzheimer’s sufferers. Organizations like the American Society of Addiction Medicine and the AMA continue to maintain that marijuana serves no medically beneficial purposes while the FDA has approved two marijuana derivative drugs, dronabinol” and “nabilone, for the treatment of Nausea and appetite loss in chemotherapy and AIDs patients.

None of the studies conducted on the use of Marijuana’s chemical compounds in the treatment of Alzheimer’s, other neurodegenerative diseases or other illness has found any indication of associated toxicity and all indicate that the drug holds the secrets to many promising therapies of the future.