Dementia is not a single illness. Rather, it refers to a number of symptoms such as forgetfulness and an inability to solve problems. Such fluctuations are generally minor at first, but memory loss, behavior, and mood disturbances can become so severe that the afflicted person has trouble coping with daily activities.
There is no known cure for dementia at the moment. While there are various treatments for dementia, they frequently cause unpleasant side effects such as muscular discomfort, sleeplessness, headaches, loss of appetite, and nausea.
CBD oil may be used to alleviate certain physical and mental symptoms associated with dementia without the side effects of conventional medications, according to some studies. This article explores CBD for dementia research, possible health advantages, dosage, and available products.
What Is Dementia?
Dementia is a general term describing an individual’s impaired ability to think, remember, or make decisions. It interferes with the completion of daily tasks. As a higher percentage of people are living to an advanced age, the rate of adults with the condition is set to increase significantly. According to the CDC, up to 14 million Americans, aged 65+ will have dementia by 2060.
The most common cause of dementia is brain cell damage. The cells’ capacity to communicate with one another diminishes, resulting in altered emotions and behaviors as well as a disruption in normal thinking processes.
The brain has several distinct regions, and each one is responsible for various functions such as movement, judgment, and memory. Once the cells in a section of the brain are damaged, that brain area can’t conduct its normal functions.
Dementia can affect the brain in a variety of ways. Alzheimer’s disease, for example, is linked with an abnormal buildup of proteins inside and outside of brain cells, making it impossible for the cells to function properly. As a consequence, one of the earliest indications of Alzheimer’s disease is memory loss.
Types of Dementia & Symptoms
Alzheimer’s is by far the most common form of the condition, but there are several types, including:
- Huntington’s disease
- Frontotemporal dementia
- Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
- Parkinson’s (or Lewy body) dementia
- Vascular dementia
- Korsakoff syndrome
- Mixed dementia
The Alzheimer’s Association suggests that there are ten signs of the condition:
- Significant memory loss that disrupts your daily life.
- Issues with problem-solving or planning.
- Difficulties completing familiar tasks.
- Confusion regarding place or time.
- Problems understanding spatial relationships and visual images.
- Development of problems with the spoken or written word.
- Losing the ability to retrace one’s steps and misplacing things.
- Reduced judgment. For instance, giving large amounts of money to scammers.
- Social withdrawal.
- Major changes in personality and mood.
Dementia Diagnosis, Outlook, & Traditional Treatments
There is currently no definitive test for dementia. Physicians examine the different types based on a physical examination, lab testing, reports of a patient’s day-to-day functioning problems, and medical history. Genetic and age-related risk factors can’t be altered, but modifiable risk factors like as exercise and diet can lower the chance of developing dementia.
Individuals with the condition may experience various symptoms at different rates.
Early diagnosis enables patients and their families to make care plans and allows them to participate in clinical trials. There are several stages of dementia:
- Mild cognitive impairment
- Mild dementia
- Moderate dementia
- Severe dementia
Treatment of the condition will depend on its cause and severity. There are therapy options available and medications such as memantine and cholinesterase inhibitors. However, these drugs are often associated with adverse effects.
CBD, a non-intoxicating component of marijuana, is said to help with some aspects of dementia, especially Alzheimer’s disease symptoms without producing major side effects.
How Could CBD Oil Help Dementia Patients?
For thousands of years, humans have relied on the cannabis plant for medicinal purposes. It communicates with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) and cannabinoid receptors, which are found throughout the body.
The CB1 receptors in the ECS have an impact on the nervous system and brain, and their connection with cannabis might be key to treating dementia symptoms. Cannabinoids including CBD stimulate the body to produce more endocannabinoids and develop more receptors, according to Dr. Dustin Sulak. The number of cannabinoid receptors increases your sensitivity to cannabinoids, so it may take a few uses before you notice a difference.
CB1 receptors can be found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain vulnerable to the underlying causes of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. The CB2 receptor is found in the microglia, another part of the brain believed to play a role in developing Alzheimer’s.
A 2017 WHO report found that CBD is not a compound with high dependence or abuse potential. CBD doesn’t provide the high associated with THC, and it actually diminishes this cannabinoid’s intoxicating effect. As a result, experts generally consider it safe for the elderly.
What Are the Mental and Physical Effects?
Unfortunately, there is nothing available to alter the progressive course of the condition. At present, there is no known cure or disease-modifying therapy.
However, there is preliminary evidence that CBD could help manage some of the condition’s mental and physical effects. Although early research is promising, there is a significant amount of ground to cover before we can claim that CBD is effective for managing any of dementia’s symptoms.
CBD has been shown to protect neurons and nonneuronal cells from problems such as beta-amyloid, 6-hydroxydopamine, and glutamate, which are thought to be the causes of Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
CBD and THC have been shown in studies to be effective at removing harmful, dementia-causing proteins from the brain. A study led by David Schubert of the Salk Institute in California, which was published in 2016, found that CBD and THC could aid in the removal of dangerous, dementia-causing molecules from the brain. A small amount of synthetically produced cannabinoids was shown to clear a toxic plaque linked with dementia when used properly.
Scientists believe that amyloid-beta accumulates in the walls of the brain cells before Alzheimer’s symptoms become apparent. Schubert spoke of his frustration with the existing cannabis laws. He said: “It’s blatantly obvious that this plant should be studied in greater detail.”
Another research, published in Nature Medicine in 2017, examined the use of cannabis to enhance memory and learning abilities in older mice. THC treatment improved learning ability and memory in the mice, according to the researchers.
In 2020, a study published in The Senior Care Pharmacist investigated the use of cannabis in dementia patients. Cannabinoids had neuroprotective effects and could enhance neurogenesis and reduce neuroinflammation, according to the researchers. There was little risk of negative side effects from marijuana use compared to first-line therapies for dementia behaviors, which was a major benefit.
However, they also wrote that additional research regarding the safety and efficacy of cannabis for dementia was necessary.
Parkinson’s disease, like dementia, is a neurodegenerative illness. Parkinson’s patients have lower dopamine production, which causes physical problems such as tremor and muscular stiffness. To assist manage Parkinson’s disease, CBD and other cannabinoids include antioxidants and powerful brain protectors.
In 2020, a study published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research investigated the safety and tolerability of CBD in Parkinson’s patients. All 13 participants who ingested Epidiolex experienced adverse effects such as dizziness, weight gain, and tiredness. Motor performance did improve, however, for the ten participants who completed the research.
According to a 2019 review of studies published in Canada, cannabis may be used to treat dementia. The researchers discovered that medical marijuana might help with agitation, aberrant motor behavior, disinhibition, aberrant vocalization, and other neuropsychiatric symptoms associated with dementia.
According to the study, “Cannabinoids were found to improve attention and memory in patients with dementia.” Some research, however, suggested that cannabinoids may help people with dementia improve their rigidity and cognitive scores as measured by the Mini-Mental State Examination. However, several of the studies reviewed by researchers showed no evidence suggesting that cannabis might aid in the treatment of dementia’s symptoms.
Health Benefits of CBD for Dementia
Finally, CBD does not help cure dementia. Instead, it may improve the quality of life for people with dementia. Dementia’s impact on the brain might cause a senior to become nervous or agitated in daily situations.
On occasion, the agitation leads to violence. While there’s no research to suggest CBD helps with memory loss, it could help keep dementia patients calmer and ensure they’re less prone to aggression. Family members often claim that cannabidiol helps change their loved one’s demeanor from anxious and depressed to cheerful.
There is also a possibility that CBD can reduce tremors and rigidity, perhaps enabling the patient to move more freely without pain.
CBD Oil Dosage for Dementia
No other type of cannabis, including Epidiolex, which contains CBD, has been approved by the FDA. As a result, there is no official guideline for CBD dosages in any circumstance. Its interaction with the brain and body is uncertain because it works on numerous molecular pathways. Many variables impact how much CBD should be taken, including:
- Medical issue
- The severity of the condition
- Medications currently being used
- Consumption method
As a result, depending on the characteristics of the patient, a heavier person might require more CBD to achieve similar results. The symptoms of dementia exhibited by the patient guide dosing. Someone with severe dementia may need significantly more than someone with mild dementia.
Vaping has a greater bioavailability than CBD oil ingested. When you vape cannabis, the cannabinoid has a stronger impact because more of it enters your bloodstream.
However, the best advice we can give is to start with as low a dose as possible. Monitor the results and increase the dosage until you’re happy with the effects. And please don’t start any CBD regimen without consulting your treating physician first.
CBD Oil and Dementia: Where to Buy?
Please keep in mind that CBD oil is not intended to treat dementia. Instead, it may help to reduce some of the negative consequences of dementia. CBD is widely accessible throughout the country, and you can buy it in various forms from numerous locations.
- CBD oil
- CBD edibles
- CBD vape liquid
- CBD topicals
- CBD capsules
Vape liquid is perhaps the best option for anyone looking to experience the effects of CBD quickly. In contrast, edibles can take hours to have a noticeable impact, but the effects last much longer.
There are tens of thousands of physical locations selling CBD products, including dedicated stores and gas stations. However, the industry is unregulated, so it is perhaps safer and more convenient to shop online. You will find a greater range of products that offer better value for money. Perhaps more importantly, you can check out the brand’s reputation and ensure its third-party lab reports are legitimate and up to date.
We cover a wide range of CBD companies in our reviews. However, to save you some time, here are five of the top-rated brands in the industry:
- Premium Jane
- Green Roads
- Joy Organics
It is a difficult path for many people with dementia. The symptoms of dementia can gradually but steadily lead to serious memory and mood problems, making it hard to complete basic routines. However, recent studies into the effects of CBD on the symptoms of dementia illnesses such as Alzheimer’s provide cause for optimism.
CBD’s potential to treat dementia-related symptoms has been investigated in recent studies, and a ray of hope may be emerging.
While the psychoactive ingredient THC has the potential to dissolve amyloid clumps in your brain, CBD may have a similar effect. CBD may also aid in the reversal of signs of age in body organs.
Another thing we know is that research must continue so that we may discover if these promising beginnings result in something more substantial.