CBD oil has become a go-to for treating many minor and major medical conditions like anxiety, depression, chronic pain, insomnia, and many more, thanks to the tons of therapeutic properties it offers. However, can CBD oil or any form of CBD can help treat dementia? Let’s find out if cannabidiol for dementia works;
What is Dementia?
Dementia is not a single disease but refers to many ailments related to gradual memory loss and a decline in the problem-solving skills of the human brain. These symptoms gradually increase with time, and slowly it becomes difficult for a person to carry out simple daily tasks.
The human brain has a very complex nature. Every brain region is responsible for multiple functions, including memory, movement, decision-making, and much more. Slight damage to any particular region of the brain will affect the functionality of the brain. With no cure for this progressive condition, dementia becomes a serious disease.
Different Forms of Dementia
Dementia has many forms. Some common dementia-related conditions include the following;
- Huntington’s disease
- Vascular dementia
- Parkinson’s or Lewy body dementia
- Frontotemporal dementia
- Mixed dementia
- Korsakoff dementia
There is no proper medication for treating dementia, and in severe cases, a person suffering from dementia may lose his life.
CBD, a non-intoxicated compound found abundantly within the Cannabis Sativa plant, has shown properties that can help patients fight dementia, especially those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. CBD is the most prominent cannabinoid found within the hemp plant. It indirectly influences the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) to increase its activity without creating any major side effects.
So, is it possible to treat dementia with CBD? The research compiled below will help you find the answers.
Research Review on The Benefits of CBD For Dementia
The research on CBD is still in its early phase, but studies have proved that CBD can deal with dementia. Based on initial trials, CBD can improve dementia-related diseases, specifically Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, and Vascular dementia.
In a 2017 study conducted at the Salk Institute of California, it was noticed that CBD could help remove dementia by increasing the connection between brain cells. The study suggested that there are three ways in which CBD can improve health conditions for dementia patients.
- By reducing inflammation.
- Reducing oxygen build-up.
- By acting as a brain stimulant and neuroprotectant.
Another study performed by Andreas Zimmer of The University of Bonn found CBD to have to boost memory and learning skills in mice. Nature Medicine published a study in 2017 that concluded that CBD with small THC doses can improve the learning capacity.
CBD can further help with many dementia-related diseases, including the following:
Inflammation inflicts a negative impact on the Alzheimer’s patient’s brain. The inflammatory response increases when the brain cells are unable to clear the blockage surrounding them. When inflammation increases in the brain, more oxygen is released. This oxygen surrounds the brain’s important regions, which creates a negative impact on its functionality and further results in memory loss. Other than this, Alzheimer’s patients’ brain cells also gradually decline.
CBD has antioxidant and anti-inflammation properties. Consuming CBD oil cannot only reduce inflammation and oxygen build-up but can also prevent the decline of brain cells. This was proven in a 2011 study by Tim Karl and Carl Group. They found that CBD can increase brain cells’ growth, which can be beneficial in strengthening memory and improving other functions of the brain.
A healthy blood supply is necessary for the proper functioning of the brain. An impaired blood supply to the brain can affect judgment, planning, memory, sense of reasoning, and other thought processes carried out by the brain. Unable to perform all these brain-related functions is termed Vascular dementia.
In 2016 The US National Institute Of Health (NIH) noticed that stimulating CB2 receptors located in the brain improved the blood flow to the brain. CBD can indirectly boost the CB2 receptors, as proven by research, and this can lead to an increase in brain activity.
The major symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include tremors, muscular rigidity, and slow movement. Another factor that causes Parkinson’s disease is a decline in dopamine production. As CBD has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, medical experts believe these properties can help Parkinson’s patients deal with tremors and improve muscle movement.
LEWY BODY DEMENTIA
Lewy body dementia is associated with unusual secretion of alpha-synuclein protein in the brain. The excessive amount of this protein can affect the brain’s vital functions, including sleeping, thinking, movement, behavior, and mood.
These symptoms can be overcome by using CBD oil. CBD, being an active anti-inflammatory agent, can reduce motor symptoms, including tremor and rigidity, and also improve sleep disorder, as proven by research.
Huntington’s disease is caused by the death of brain cells. General symptoms of this disease include coordination problems, mood swings, and mental disabilities. CBD can reduce inflammation and work as an effective antioxidant, improving brain health. With all these properties, CBD can reduce the symptoms related to Huntington’s disease.
Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a disorder caused by a loss of brain nerve cells in the brain’s frontal or temporal lobes, which can cause depression. The main attribute of CBD is that it reduces depression and anxiety. Therefore, it can reduce the degeneration of brain cells helping FTD patients.
Are There Side Effects of Using CBD Oil for Dementia?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), using pure CBD will not have any serious side effects on human health. However, as every individual is different with different physical and mental conditions, it is advised to consult a medical practitioner to determine the right dosage according to your condition, age, and weight.
On the other hand, some common side effects of CBD may include diarrhea, swelling, and nausea. A dementia patient can experience liver problems and increased tremors upon taking high doses of CBD.