A recent computational-chemistry study found that THC, the key ingredient in marijuana, might slow progression of Alzheimer's more effectively than some pharmaceuticals that are currently on the market for that use. The dichotomy of pot's immediate effects on the brain compared with its possible long-term effects raises some interesting questions, such as, If you forget things when you're high, might you remember them when you're old?
High-brow humor aside, if the herbal contraband treats Alzheimer's effectively it could "have a major impact on the quality of life for patients, as well as reducing the staggering health care costs associated with the disease," as the press release points out. "The Alzheimer's Association estimates 4.5 million Americans have the disease, a figure that could reach as high as 16 million by 2050... The costs of caring for Alzheimer's patients are at least $100 billion annually, according to the National Institute on Aging."
Of course, it's doubtful this potential benefit would actually come to fruition in the U.S. because marijuana is decidedly not on the FDA's menu. So put that in your pipe and smoke it.
(Thanks to AB2 for the tip.)