Marijuana's active ingredient could slow Alzheimer's disease, research says

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Another excuse to smoke pot: THC appears to help slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease, according to new research.

Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC as it is commonly known, is the key ingredient in marijuana. THC was found to maintain the levels of an important neurotransmitter called acetylcholine with in the brain, according to a research team at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA. They also concluded that THC prevents the formation of amyloid protein plaques in the brain that are characteristic of Alzheimer's disease.

Researchers predict THC could be a valuable ingredient in the development of new and more effective drugs to treat the disease.