Cannabis and Alzheimer’s Disease
Over the last few years, the US has seen significant advances in the fight to legalize cannabis use, both recreationally and medicinally. As time goes on, more and more states are turning to decriminalization, opening the doorways for new research, and offering alternative medicine to people who suffer from a range of debilitating diseases.
While the empirical data behind medicinal cannabis use is still relatively thin, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that should be taken into account. In this article, we will take a look into the effects of marijuana on Alzheimer’s disease and look at whether or not the plant can offer some relief to sufferers of this terrible disease.
What is Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s is a progressive brain disease in which irregular protein deposits build up in the brain. This eventually causes your brain cells to die and affects the body adversely in a wide number of ways.
Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most common causes of dementia in the world today. Unfortunately, the disease is still not fully understood, and there is currently no cure and no known causes for it either. However, some factors are thought to increase the likelihood of developing the condition, such as:
- Old age
- Long-standing and untreated depression
- Head injuries
- A family history of the condition
Symptoms of the Disease
The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease progress very slowly over many years and become increasingly worse as time goes on. Here are some of the symptoms that typically result from the condition:
- Memory loss
- Disturbed sleep
- Weight loss
- Loss of speech
- Weight loss
- Agitation and aggression
The symptoms vary from patient to patient. Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s disease is terminal.
How Cannabis Can Treat Alzheimer’s Disease
So, where does cannabis fit into this? Well, as you can see, the list of symptoms from Alzheimer’s disease is pretty long, and it seems that medical marijuana may help relieve some of these uncomfortable ailments. Medical marijuana Alzheimer’s patients also seem to show positive signs of slowing down the rapid decline and destruction that the disease causes.
For example, one of the CBD oil benefits for Alzheimer’s patients is a reduction in anxiety and agitation that a lot of patients deal with. On top of that, recent studies have also shown promising signs that CBD oil can potentially reduce or remove the impact of inflammation and brain cell decline. This is largely down to the potent anti-inflammatory effects that CBD oil has on our bodies.
In addition to this, CBD is a powerful antioxidant. It helps reduce the problems associated with oxygen stress in the brain that can be caused by problems from Alzheimer’s and dementia. Using CBD oil for dementia and Alzheimers shows encouraging signs of reducing the negative effects of oxygen stress in the brain and adverse brain functions that occur as a result.
Medical Marijuana, Alzheimer’s and THC
THC and Alzheimer’s is another interesting relationship that scientists have recently started to study. Most of the medical marijuana Alzheimer’s research has focused on the effects of CBD oil. How its anti-inflammatory properties may help reduce the severity of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. However, one study has found that THC and Alzheimers may, in fact, have profound implications.
It turns out that the THC compound has been found to promote the removal of toxic clumps of amyloid-beta protein in the brain, which are thought to kickstart the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
So, let’s see what THC is and how it works in the brain. It’s the active compound in cannabis that gives the psychoactive experience when smoking weed. It’s also been found to have strong pain-relieving properties while acting separately from CBD.
Marijuana and Dementia
It’s important to realize that dementia and Alzheimers are not the same diseases. Dementia is actually the name given to a group of symptoms that affects cognitive tasks such as memory and reasoning. Dementia is an umbrella term that Alzheimer’s disease can often fall under, hence, it often overlaps.
Again, the research is thin on the potential effects of marijuana and dementia. However, both THC and CBD oil seem to have positive effects similar to cannabis and Alzheimer’s.