Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.


Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login



Medical marijuana study fails to show benefit on behavioural symptoms of dementia

A study on medical marijuana shows no benefit on the behavioural symptoms of dementia. In the image, dried marijuana leaves


Tetrahydrocannabinol, the main chemical involved in marijuana’s psychoactive effects, has analgesic properties

Analgesics have recently been shown to be beneficial for neuropsychiatric symptoms, particularly agitation, in patients with dementia. Building on this, researchers hypothesised that low-dose oral tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the main chemical involved in marijuana’s psychoactive effects and that has analgesic properties — may be similarly beneficial and better tolerated than current drugs used in dementia patients.

The researchers randomised 50 patients with dementia and behavioural symptoms to take 1.5 mg of THC three times daily or placebo for three weeks. The results, reported in Neurology[1] (2015;84:1–9), show no difference in neuropsychiatric symptoms, agitation, quality of life or activities of daily living between the treatment groups. THC was well tolerated, however, with no effects on vital signs, weight or episodic memory.

“The benign adverse event profile of this dosage allows study of whether higher doses are efficacious and equally well tolerated,” say the researchers.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2015.20068561

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.