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Medical Cannabis and Amyloidosis

When atypical protein amyloid, formed in bone marrow, builds up in organs, it obstructs normal function causing slow and sometimes fatal failure of the heart, kidneys spleen, nervous system, or digestive tract. Research is slowly revealing that with no known cure and limited treatment, symptoms of the disease are treatable with medical cannabis for various reasons.

Understanding the Effects of Amyloidosis 

Amyloidosis doesn’t necessarily attack the same organs in every sufferer and has brought on in different types, including primary, with no known cause; secondary, caused by certain types of cancer; and familial, passed down in the bloodline. 

The symptoms of the disease are harsh and based on the type of Amyloidosis, which varies. Heart-related symptoms include shortness of breath and irregular heartbeat; kidney-related signs are foamy urine and swelling in legs, belly, arms, and lungs; nerve-related evidence is numbness and Carpel tunnel syndrome; and gastrointestinal-related symptoms include an enlarged tongue and unexplained weight loss.  

Treatment for Amyloidosis is also harsh, like symptoms including high-dose chemotherapy, steroids, and liver and kidney transplant. 

The Potential for Medical Cannabis to Help With Amyloidosis

The Amyloidosis Foundation reports that the U.S. Office of Rare Diseases brands the condition extraordinary, affecting less than 200,000 of the country’s population. The foundation says the most significant setback in treating the disease is the lack of early diagnosis, which is all the more reason reports of medical cannabis calming the condition are hopeful.  

While THC stunts the disease by preventing amyloid buildup, CBD alleviates symptoms, including nausea, anxiety, and depression. One of the most notable CBD agents that aids in Amyloidosis is its anti-inflammatory effects, which is especially helpful in gastrointestinal-related conditions that cause an enlarged tongue and swelling in other body parts and organs. 

Different strains of medical cannabis reportedly assist in alleviating symptoms for different types of Amyloidosis. While Indica-dominant strands help anxiety, pain, and lack of appetite, Sativa-strong strands ease nausea and fight fatigue. A Medical Marijuana report notes while cannabinoids have helpful antioxidant properties, THC suppresses cell-mediated immunity, which is significant to Amyloidosis. Accurately “the cannabinoid system may represent a new, promising field of research because many cell types involved in AD neuropathology express components of this system, which can be endogenously or pharmacologically modulated,” reports Medical Marijuana. 

Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease study in 2016 pointed out that cannabinoid receptor two is linked to amyloid processing in a mice trial, suggesting that cannabis-based therapy may be the answer to dementia disease. While no definitive discoveries regarding medical cannabis and Amyloidosis have been made, research thus far suggests both THC and CBD will continue to be at the forefront of possible therapies as successful studies continue. 

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Data Last Updated 06/05/2020

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