Dr. Pam Maher - CBN, a Non-Psychoactive Cannabis Chemical, May Protect Cognitive Functioning - Cutting Edge Health Audio Podcast

Cutting Edge Health: Preventing Cognitive Decline

Nov 17 2022 • 25 mins

The Salk Institute’s Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory, which Pamela Maher, PhD heads, has been studying CBN. It is a chemical found in marijuana and findings show how it can protect nerve cells in the brain from oxidative damage, a major pathway to cell death. Their research also suggests that CBN works to protect the brain’s mitochondria. Mitochondria is called the powerhouse of a cell.

Pair these two findings and the neuroprotective benefits CBN produces might be helpful in preventing diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, Maher says. However, human clinical trials are still years away. The lab’s research thus far involves only mice.

CBN is molecularly similar to THC, but is not psychoactive. Because it won’t get one high, it is legal in every state. CBN is already produced commercially, sometimes in pill form, gummies or tinctures. Evidence suggests it is safe in animals and humans.

Dr. Pamela Maher, a neuroscientist, is a research professor at the Salk Institute and the head of Salk’s Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory. A senior staff scientist at Salk since 2004, she has concentrated her research on screening for compounds that can halt the progress of neurodegenerative brain disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Maher's website: https://www.salk.edu/scientist/pamela-maher/

Maher earned her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry from McGill University in Montreal, a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, and a Postdoc in Cell Biology from the University of California, San Diego.

In 1979 she was granted a Killam Predoctoral Fellowship, in 1980 an Anna Fuller Postdoctoral Fellowship, and in 1982 an NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship.

Dr. Maher has been the recipient of several major awards, including the Michael J. Fox Foundation Award for Novel Approaches to Drug Discovery for Parkinson’s Disease in 2007 and the Edward N. And Della L. Thome Memorial Foundation Award in Alzheimer’s Disease Drug Discovery in 2015.

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Please note that the information provided in this show is not medical advice, nor should it be taken or applied as a replacement for medical advice. The Cutting Edge Health podcast, its employees, guests and affiliates assume no liability for the application of the information discussed.

Special thanks to Alan, Maria, Louis and Nicole on the Cutting Edge Health team!

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