Gary Wenk, PhD, Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience & Molecular Virology, Immunology and Medical Genetics at the Ohio State University and Medical Center, made the following statement in a Nov. 19, 2008 Ohio State University press release titled "Scientists are high on idea that marijuana reduces memory impairment" regarding a study on cannabinoid receptors and memory in rats for which he served as principal investigator:

“Could people smoke marijuana to prevent Alzheimer’s disease if the disease is in their family? We’re [Gary Wenk, Yannick Marchalant, Francesca Cerbai, and Holly M. Brothers] not saying that, but it might actually work. What we are saying is it appears that a safe, legal substance that mimics those important properties of marijuana can work on receptors in the brain to prevent memory impairments in aging. So that’s really hopeful.”

[Editor’s Note: spoke with Dr. Wenk on Dec. 11, 2008. He explained that in his 30 years of research into improving memory throughout aging, “nothing seemed to work on old brains” but that synthetic “cannabinoids worked.” To avoid over-simplifying the results of his research, we have provided a direct link to a PDF of the entire study “Cannabinoid Receptor Stimulation Is Anti-inflammatory and Improves Memory in Old Rats (1.3 MB) published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging (Dec. 2008).] Nov. 19, 2008