How CBD Can Help With Dementia Symptoms
Around 1 in 6 women and 1 in 10 men over the age of 55 will suffer from dementia and/or Alzheimer’s Disease in their lifetime. These disorders impact millions of families every day, and right now there is not a medical cure to these debilitating diseases. Those suffering from dementia may use drugs trying to combat the problem, but traditional pharmaceuticals may potentially inhibit the quality of life in other ways, possibly inducing nausea, vomiting, and other issues. With so much responsibility falling on loved ones, it is hard to determine what is best for your family.
Fortunately, a safe alternative is available to improve the lives of those suffering from dementia. Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, may be able to alleviate the symptoms behind a wide array of conditions. While the research is still ongoing, early signs seem to indicate that dementia may be on the list of conditions that CBD helps. We are in the midst of a CBD revolution, and understanding how it can be used to improve lives is vital in expanding the reach of CBD’s vast potential.
How It Works
Before learning more about how CBD can be used to ease dementia symptoms, it’s important to understand how it works in general. Cannabidiol fundamentally works by stimulating neurotransmitter cannabinoid receptors in the body that form the network known as the Endocannabinoid System. The ECS plays a crucial role in regulating vital body functions, including sleep, appetite, mood, and memory. It is thought that cannabinoids such as CBD stimulate the ECS’ strength and modulating capabilities to produce homeostasis and equilibrium of the body and mind.
There are dozens of estimated cannabinoids that can be found and derived from the cannabis and hemp plant, and among them, there are two which have received the most prominence for their therapeutic medicinal benefits: THC and CBD. Both compounds have a nearly identical chemical profile, but their key difference lies in the arrangement of one atom, causing THC to create a direct, psychoactive mind-altering bond to the brain’s CB1 receptors, whereas CBD binds to CB2 receptors and does not produce psychoactive reactions. Therefore, those who want the medical relief of cannabis without the reactive “high” of cannabis should turn to CBD.
In many cases, Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia uniquely strike the hippocampus, at the center of the brain’s capabilities for memories. One of the early warning signs of psychological neurodegeneration is physical degeneration and atrophied shrinking in the hippocampal region. However, studies suggest that when amplified, the endocannabinoid system can also impact the same hippocampal regions that impact dementia. While it is still in relative infancy when viewed within the grand scope of medicine, several research models attest to CBD’s efficacy in treating the symptoms of dementia such as anxiety, paranoia, and inhibited mental clarity.
Though more trials still need to be conducted, CBD has demonstrated powerful effectiveness as an overall neuroprotective agent, capable of alleviating the symptoms behind epilepsy, migraines, multiple sclerosis, short-term brain damage, and more. There have been multiple trials, although not primarily focused on memory retention, indicate a symptomatic improvement in the behavioral and sleep-disturbing effects of dementia, correlated with cannabinoid treatments. It is important to note CBD should be seen first and foremost as a viable option to improve quality of life, not as a cure. But there is evidence that it may counteract the primary biological channels and receptors which develop neurodegenerative diseases.
Endocannabinoid signaling is a powerful inhibitor of degeneration, but at this point, there is not enough research to suggest that it could definitively bring this degeneration to a halt. Nevertheless, it is still a viable and legitimate option to traditional treatment medications to combat these degenerative diseases and improve the lives that are affected.
Patients deserve the freedom to find as much comfort as they can within the time they have left, and for patients suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease, CBD may be one of the avenues where they can seek that comfort.
CBD may not be a magical cure for dementia or Alzheimers, but it is far more natural and safe than a lot of other options. CBD has less known side effects and does not create dependency issues. However, you may want the consultation of a professional before trying CBD, as it may inhibit the liver enzymes which metabolize many prescription drugs.