Updated: Jul 12
The cannabis plant has proven itself to be useful in multiple arenas. One such arena is that of medicinal purposes. The CBD in cannabis has been known to help with seizures, stress, anxiety, PTSD, and other issues as well. One such issue is dementia and the effects that it has upon the human brain.
Dementia is not specifically a disease but refers to a group of diseases that affect the brain. This refers to such brain functions as memory, daily functioning, social functions, and judgment. The most common form of dementia, but certainly not the only form, is Alzheimer’s disease. dementia is a growing issue in an aging population.
A large amount of the population will experience some sort of dementia as they age and brain functions begin to slip. Research is beginning to suggest that, along with many other proven functions, CBD might be able to help in prevention of dementia as well as the easement of the negative effects of dementia,
The frontier is largely unexplored when it comes to CBD and dementia but the studies that do exist out there show that promising results could be obtained. CBD has proven successful in helping to alleviate agitation and aggression. These two things are certainly not restricted to being symptoms of dementia but they are two prevalent markers when an individual is experiencing dementia. If these two symptoms and possible others are able to be managed early on it could be possible for the onset and progression of dementia to be slowed with the help of CBD.
Specifically when it comes to Alzheimer’s a handful of studies have suggested that CBD has been effective in managing several symptoms experienced by individuals who are slipping into dementia. CBD is not only helpful with the agitation and aggression associated with multiple forms of dementia but also the stress, confusion, sleep disturbances, social withdrawal, withdrawal from loved ones, and memory loss Alzeimers patients begin to experience. There is even research out there to suggest that CBD can be helpful to those experiencing trouble with judgment and the ability to speak and write.
Living with Dementia and CBD
Prevention is an important measure when attempting to slow the progress of symptoms that lead to dementia. However, what can be said for relief of symptoms for those already struggling with more advanced dementia? CBD has shown some results in delaying loss of brain function and even repairing brain function to a degree.
When dementia begins to progress brain tissue dies, when this happens function is lost for good. CBD has been known to slow and in some cases reverse this progression. Again, trials are sparse and small so even though these favorable results have happened within trials there are not enough conclusive results to call these well educated conjectures hard facts.
CBD and other cannabinoids contained in cannabis show promise in at least slowing down the progression of the life altering and often extremely devastating effects that come with facing dementia. As research broadens and larger as well as more numerous trials concerning CBD’s effect on dementia spring up more light will be shed on what can be done with CBD to slow down and regain brain function loss for people suffering from advanced dementia.
A large proponent in the fact that more research has not occurred around CBD and dementia revolves around the negative stigma cannabis has had for many many decades. Only in recent history has it become mainstream to actually consider the positive effects of CBD and even THC medicinally.
As many years ago as 1937 cannabis was made illegal in a climate of hysteria around the recreational use of the plant. Though that stigma continues to lift more and more the fear of cannabis has deep roots that still exist in today’s society. This can make for slow progress where research is concerned. This can also make individuals suffering from dementia or signs of the onset of dementia as well as their family members and caregivers apprehensive about the positive effects that CBD as well as other cannabinoids can possess.
CBD is more widely accepted as a medicine than other cannabinoids contained in the cannabis plant. A lot of the sparse research that exists out there revolves around CBD. However, there is a body of research that suggests that CBD can work in tandem with THC to more effectively combat the issues caused by dementia.
THC is that chemical compound that everyone has been so afraid of in the past. It’s the component in cannabis that has psychoactive effects. In other words it’s the thing that makes you high. This fact doesn’t exempt the cannabinoid THC from having a medical purpose though. The tag team pair of CBD and THC together have been known to aid in the alleviation of agitation due to dementia.
Agitation can be a big factor in diseases involving dementia. Of course it must be reiterated that the research is sparse and only small groups of people have undergone medical trials involving either CBD or THC let alone both. With this said favorable results have been seen when using both cannabinoids. It can be remarked that there are far more negative side effects associated with mainstream pharmaceuticals that work to alleviate the same symptoms that these cannabinoids also alleviate.
CBD on the Horizon
CBD research continues to grow in many arenas. The small sparse research trials of today will expand in the future and shed more light on the positive effects of this cannabinoid. The little research that we have points towards positive effects where the treatment and prevention of dementia is concerned.
CBD’s ability to repair damaged brain tissue as well as slow the deterioration of that damage has already been discovered. Cannabis continues to prove a myriad of positive results within multiple arenas. The effects of dementia could be greatly countered by CBD and possibly even THC as research progresses and attitudes towards as well as laws concerning cannabis relax and minds open to the possibility of cannabinoids as medicine.