CBD has gained momentum in the health world as an all-natural plant extract for fighting inflammation, anxiety, pain, and even cancer. According to the World Health Organization, it doesn’t have any side effects. Plus, it’s not addictive like many of the common medications. These properties along with its neuroprotective effects have driven researchers to study the potential uses of CBD for Alzheimer’s and dementia. Using natural remedies for senior patients is the optimal solution and that’s why CBD is under study for treating Alzheimer’s. So is CBD good for Alzheimer’s patients? Can CBD treat Alzheimer’s? Keep reading to find out.
What is CBD?
CBD or cannabidiol is one of the two major cannabinoids extracted from the cannabis plant. It is sometimes mistaken with marijuana and thought to make people high. But the high associated with using marijuana is due to another important cannabinoid called THC or tetrahydrocannabinol. CBD products are usually extracted from hemp. Hemp is one type of the cannabis plant and includes a higher concentration of CBD than THC. In fact, CBD products are legal in all 50 states if they have less than 0.3% THC. So these products are non-intoxicating, but their CBD can have positive effects. CBD products come in different forms, with full spectrum CBD oils being the most popular of them. Different cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes in full spectrum CBD help create the entourage effect and enhance the benefits.
There is extensive research on the potential medicinal benefits of CBD backed up by thousands of users’ testimonies. That is why it’s being considered for treating various illnesses and the questions of using CBD for Alzheimer’s and dementia, can CBD treat Alzheimer’s, and is CBD good for Alzheimer’s patients have risen.
What is Alzheimer’s disease?
Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, affecting more than five million people in the US. It mostly develops in people over the age of 65, but it can affect younger groups too. The expected lifespan of patients after diagnosis is from four to eight years and it’s one of the major causes of death in older groups.
Alzheimer’s develops as a result of amyloid plaque buildup in the brain. This blocks the neural signals and prevents them from communicating with the rest of the body. This condition gets worse when the brain tries to fight back the buildup and gradually destructs the nerve cells. When the brain can’t get rid of the blockages, it causes inflammation. This releases oxygen, which can make the situation even worse and have negative impacts. When the immune system gets weaker with aging, the brain becomes more vulnerable and prone to not only Alzheimer’s and dementia but also pathogens that can cross the weakened blood-brain barrier.
Common symptoms of Alzheimer’s include memory loss, mood swings, confusion, disorientation, aggression, and inability to communicate. The symptoms start slow and progress to a point that the patient can’t perform daily tasks and will need full-time care.
There are currently no proven cures that can treat Alzheimer’s disease, but there are some prescription medications that may alleviate the symptoms and slow down the progression of the disease. Although these medications can do that in only half the patients, and they’re not short of side effects. So there are vigorous research attempts to find a way to prevent and cure this disease. One of these latest attempts is focusing on the use of CBD for Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Can CBD treat Alzheimer’s?
The good news is that CBD might be able to help reduce a lot of the disease’s symptoms. Different ways that CBD can help Alzheimer’s is by reducing inflammation and oxygen buildup, memory loss and anxiety, acting as a neuroprotectant, and improving brain function.
Scientists believe that CBD affects the body by interacting with the endocannabinoid system that consists of CB1 and CB2 receptors. This system is responsible for brain functions such as memory and learning ability that are impacted by Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Studies show that in the body of an Alzheimer’s patient, CBD can break up the plaque buildup, bind to the receptors, slow the disease’s progression, and restore neural communication. Numerous other studies supported this finding and also suggested that CBD can reverse brain aging.
Other studies show CBD’s ability to manage the behavioral symptoms of Alzheimer’s and dementia, including agitation, anxiety, aggression, and inability to recognize friends and loved ones.
Some studies show CBD’s potential in reducing inflammation in the brain that causes the main symptoms. This inflammation is the result of oxidative stress and CBD acting as an antioxidant can fight these effects.
Another way CBD can treat Alzheimer’s and dementia is through its role as a neuroprotector. Through the endocannabinoid system, it can potentially manage neurodegenerative conditions, keep infectious organisms from entering the brain, and prevent further neural damage.
These are just some benefits of CBD for Alzheimer's and dementia. There are new studies underway to understand more of CBD’s functions and what it can do for neurodegenerative diseases. One of these studies at King’s College London is testing the effects of a CBD mouth spray for Alzheimer’s patients.
How to use CBD for Alzheimer’s and dementia
CBD can be taken in various forms. From inhaling CBD vape oil to taking a CBD nano softgel or placing CBD oil under your tongue, each method has its own advantages and uses for certain conditions. For a detailed description of each method, you can read our article about how to take CBD. But here we want to talk about the best type of CBD for Alzheimer's patients. Since most patients are elderly, they may not like vaping and prefer an easier way to deliver CBD to their bodies.
The best way to do that is taking CBD edibles. Products like CBD gummies and CBD water soluble nano softgels come in pre-determined doses and are easy to incorporate into daily lives.
The next best option is taking CBD oils and tinctures. Products like full spectrum CBD oils spread faster in the body and you can measure the dose based on the effects.
There are other methods you can try until you find the one that works best. Since this natural compound has almost no side effects even at high doses, you can try different doses. Although it’s better to start with small amounts and increase it gradually. If you’re not sure about the dosing, you can always consult a doctor about using CBD for Alzheimer's and dementia.
So is CBD good for Alzheimer’s patients?
There is still a long way to go in CBD research, but studies until now show CBD’s lack of side effects and psychoactive properties. This makes it a possible natural solution for people suffering from Alzheimer's and dementia. So if you or your loved ones are one of these people, you can ask your doctor about CBD and safely add it to your routine.
Silver Tuna CBD offers a range of the highest quality CBD products you can choose from. So pick your CBD for Alzheimer's and dementia and let us know in the comments what results you see.