Cannabis 'could prevent mad cow disease'
A pro-cannabis lobby group says an ingredient in cannabis may prevent mad cow disease.
The National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (Norml) says a French study shows cannabidiol may be effective in preventing bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), known as mad cow disease.
Scientists at the National Centre for Scientific Research in France found cannabidiol - a non-psychoactive ingredient - may prevent the development of prion diseases, the most well known of which is BSE.
Researchers found cannabidiol inhibited the accumulation of prion proteins in infected mice and sheep.
Norml spokesman Chris Fowlie said the discovery added to the scientific evidence supporting Green MP Metiria Turei's bill to legalise the medicinal use of cannabis.
"[It] should be supported by any MP with a clear head. Unfortunately most politicians act like mad cows whenever cannabis is mentioned," Mr Fowlie said.