Currently there is no evidence to show that cannabis or cannabis oil (CBD oil) can stop, reverse or prevent dementia. In this post we will explore what CBD is along with how CBD can be used to help seniors deal with Alzheimer’s or related dementias.
Cannabis, CBD oil and dementia Cannabis, CBD oil and dementia .
Currently there is no evidence to show that cannabis or cannabis oil (CBD oil) can stop, reverse or prevent dementia.
Can cannabis or CBD oil treat dementia or its symptoms?
There are no research studies that prove cannabis, or products such as cannabis oil (CBD oil), can stop, slow, reverse or prevent the diseases that cause dementia.
Some studies suggest cannabis could help to manage a few behavioural symptoms of dementia, such as agitation and aggression.
But more research is needed to understand the long-term effects of taking cannabis, and whether it is an effective and safe way to tackle dementia symptoms.
If you have any questions or concerns about cannabis use and the risk of dementia or other brain disorders, please talk to your GP.
Read our advice to help reduce your risk of developing dementia.
What is cannabis?
Coconut oil and dementia Coconut oil and dementia .
There is currently a lack of evidence to show that coconut oil plays any role in preventing or treating dementia or its symptoms.
Cannabis, also known as marijuana, is a plant. The dried leaves, flowering parts or resin extracted from the plant is taken recreationally.
Cannabis is made up for two main components – Tetrahydrocannabinol and Cannabidiol.
What is Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)?
THC is the main component of cannabis that invokes feelings of sociability, happiness or relaxation.
Products containing more than 0.2% THC are not legally available in the UK.
What is Cannabidiol (CBD)?
Cannabidiol or CBD does not cause any psychoactive or intoxicating effects.
Products that contain CBD are legal and can be bought on the high street or online.
Is there any evidence behind the cannabis and CBD oil claims?
There have been no clinical trials on the effects of cannabis or CBD oil in people living with dementia.
In the lab
A key hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease is the build up of clumps of a protein, called amyloid, in the brain. Some studies have shown that components of cannabis, including THC, appear to remove this protein from nerve cells grown in the lab.
Another study that gave both THC and CBD oil to mice with symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease showed an improved in learning and had less evidence of amyloid clumps in their bodies.
Research continues to better understand the effects of CBD oil on the brain. Some early evidence suggests that CBD oil may reduce inflammation in the brain, although this has yet to be proven in people.
5 clinical trial myth busters 5 clinical trial myth busters .
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Tackling the symptoms of dementia
Research does suggest that high concentrations of CBD oil could be useful for managing some of the symptoms of dementia such as agitation and anxiety.
A few small clinical trials have assessed the effects of cannabinoids (including THC and synthetic cannabinoids, such as nabilone) on behavioural symptoms of dementia. However, trials and studies so far have generally been small or low quality making it difficult to come to a conclusion.
It is also important to note that the researchers in these studies have used high concentrations of CBD oil that may not be available to buy. These studies have also been short term so we still don’t know what the long term effects of using CBD oil might be.
A study is currently underway at King’s College London that will look at whether a mouth spray containing cannabinoids could be used to reduce symptoms of agitation and aggression in a small group of people with Alzheimer’s disease.
Can CBD Help Seniors with Alzheimer’s & Dementia?
CBD, or cannabi diol , has been suggested as a treatment to help seniors with dementia manage their symptoms. While there is currently no evidence to show that CBD can stop, reverse, or prevent dementia , there is research that sho ws that it could help manage symptoms. This could be great news for families and seniors who are struggling with the effects of dementia. In this post, we will explore what CBD is along with how CBD can be used to help seniors deal with Alzheimer’s or related dementias.
What Is CBD?
Let’s start with the basics of CBD. It comes from the hemp plant , which is related to the marijuana plant . The plant is dried and the resin is extracted. This compound contains 2 parts: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
- THC is the recreational form of cannabis, which is associated with generating a “high.” In the US, products with more than 0.2% THC are considered illegal.
- CBD is the medicinal form of cannabis that generally helps improve mood and reduce damage caused by inflammation. It does not CBD is legal in various forms in 47 US states. It also does not exhibit the potential for dependence or health-related problems.
This distinction is important because CBD does not have the intoxicating feeling associated with THC. Instead, it has been shown t o have anti-anxiety properties that can help manage behavior and promote calm. Additionally, CBD is the main ingredient in recent FDA-approved medication, Epidiolex, to treat epilepsy.
CBD can be administered in different forms, but the most common is as oil, which can be dropped onto the tongue , contained in gel capsule s, or applied to the skin directly. However, it is also available in pill forms or as an inhalant.
What Are the Benefits of CBD for Seniors with Dementia?
CBD is commonly used to help with anxiety, insomnia, poor sleep, and even pain relief. B ecause CBD has been shown to help reduce anxiety and agitation, it is believed that it can help reduce these symptoms in seniors with dementia.
Because of how dementia affects the brain, a senior may become agitated or anxious in everyday situations. Sometimes this agitation can even turn vio lent. But remember that these behavior changes are caused by the disease and are not your loved one’s fault. CBD may be able to help alleviate these symptoms .
Additionally, Dementia Care Central indicates that CBD may also help:
- Reduce inflammation
- Reduce oxygen buildup
- Stimulate the brain & reduce the decline of memory and other brain functions
Let’s dive deeper into how CBD could help in each of these areas.
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury. You might be used to seeing inflammation around a cut or wound. However, neuroinflammation is also associated with various forms of dementia. For example, Alzheimer’s disease causes clumps of proteins to build up in the brain. This can make it harder for the brain to function over time. As a result, the body may respond with inflammation in the area, which could make it even harder for the brain to make connections. However, CBD may help reduce that inflammation and help with dementia.
Oxygen buildup ties in with inflammation in the brain. As brain tissue expands, oxygen is released. So, the more inflammation, the more oxygen that builds up. As more oxygen is released into the brain, the brain loses functionality. This can result in memory loss or other brain deterioration. Oxygen is also released when the body is stressed, which happens often for seniors with dementia. CBD may help reduce stress and reduce the negative effects of oxygen on the brain.
Memory & Brain Function
As dementia progresses, brain tissue actually dies and function is lost for good. This process can take the time or it can happen very rapidly. In some trials, CBD showed promising results to help stop or even reverse the loss of brain function and memory loss in dementia patients. Additionally, CBD may help stimulate the brain to help keep connections within the brain and help seniors potentially delay the effects of dementia.
While this information gives us much hope in the fight against dementia, know that only small clinical trials have been conducted to determine the effects of CBD on dementia, making it difficult to come to a scientific conclusion. However, scientists are continuing to conduct rese arch to help further our ability to help those with dementia.
Are There Any Risks Associated with CBD?
The World Health Organization (WHO ) has stated that “no public health problems. have been associated with the use of pure CBD.” Additionally, it does not exhibit addictive properties and has not been shown to cause any health risks.
However, this applies to pure CBD. There are some retailers who produce CBD products with other ingredients or strains of CBD that have been tainted with other substances. Some companies also misrepresent their products and place different packaging labels on the products. This could pose a risk for your loved one, so i t’s important for you to obtain any CBD products through a company that has been approved by a third party , meaning the products have been tested independently for quality.
If you or your loved one is interested in using CBD to manage symptoms, make sure you talk to a doctor first to evaluate the risks and discuss the best options.
There is still much we do not know when it comes to CBD and its effectiveness in treating the symptoms of dementia. However, we are hopeful that new research and medications will be developed that will end dementia for good!