CBD and Dementia – Does It Help?

by | Nov 9, 2020 | Dementia | 0 comments

Cannabidiol (CBD) is gaining popularity for its potential to assist many chronic and short-term conditions. CBD is a cannabinoid molecule produced by the cannabis plant and can be consumed naturally in marijuana or hemp products, or removed through a process of extraction and made into a variety of CBD products like oil, gummies and other edibles, or salves.

One of the questions that researchers are trying to answer is – how can CBD help with Alzheimer’s and dementia? They are studying its effects on the brain and the benefits that it can provide the elderly with.

Understanding how CBD and other cannabinoids interact with the brain is a complicated undertaking because the brain itself is incredibly complex and contains a wide variety of receptors, conducting a multitude of interactions every second. As complex as the research is, it’s already showing positive results and many are hopeful for what more research concerning CBD and dementia will bring.
 

The ECS

First, it’s important to understand the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is responsible for maintaining the body’s state of homeostasis. This is an important function of the human body because all the internal systems need to be in a state of equilibrium to work effectively. When a problem is noticed, the ETS kicks on and rushes to the location of the instability in order to stabilize the condition.

There are three primary elements that make up the endocannabinoid system: 

  1. The endocannabinoids are chemical compounds the body naturally produces. These are structurally similar to endocannabinoids, the chemical compounds found in cannabis.
  2. The cannabinoid receptors, which are found on the surface of cells throughout the body. Endocannabinoids and cannabinoids are both able to attach to these receptors allowing them to communicate with a variety of systems inside the body. This communication is what enables the ECS to detect and correct instability.
  3. Enzymes work to break down the cannabinoids and endocannabinoids after they’ve attached themselves to the receptors and after homeostasis has been achieved. At the core, enzymes are there to make sure the cannabinoids do not create an overcorrection once the risk has been effectively corrected.

There are highly specialized cells called neurons inside the brain which connect to other neurons through structures called synapses. By releasing chemicals known as neurotransmitters, neurons are able to communicate with each other and each neuron has its own receptors. The receptors respond to chemicals produced by the brain (dopamine, serotonin) as well as chemicals produced outside the body, like cannabinoids.

Since cannabinoids from cannabis plants are similar to naturally produced compounds in the body, it’s possible for CBD to attach itself to the receptors in the same way as endocannabinoids. CBD has the ability to bind to both the CB1 and CB2 receptors and once attached, acts as an antagonist, binding to receptors and dampening their signals. 

For example, CBD works to inhibit the FAAH enzyme, which breaks down the anandamide endocannabinoid the body produces. Anandamide produces a calming feeling, so by keeping the enzymes from destroying this compound, a naturally therapeutic effect should be felt immediately [1].
 

What Is CBD Oil For Dementia And Alzheimer’s Likely To Help With?

Dementia-related conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, Parkinson’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, and Huntington’s disease all have the potential to be helped by CBD. 

Research suggests that cannabinoids such as CBD have the potential to remove the toxic protein associated with dementia from the connections between the brain cells while also increasing those same connections to assist in cognitive stability. 

Research has also shown this particular toxin to cause inflammation in the brain and higher rates of neuron death. Scientists were able to conclude that introducing cannabinoids reduced the levels of this toxin, thus eliminating the inflammatory response which allowed the nerve cells to survive [2].
 

Alzheimer’s Disease

CBD has been shown to not only reduce the impact of inflammation and oxygen buildup that leads to brain cell decline. It’s also believed to be able to remove already existing effects [3]. When the brain’s immune cells fail to work effectively to clear blockages that cause disorientation, the brain becomes inflamed which increases the damaging effects of Alzheimer’s disease. This inflammation is the main reason Alzheimer’s disease reacts so positively to CBD, a compound known for its anti-inflammatory properties [4]. 

One major trigger for Alzheimer’s episodes is the release of oxygen due to stress or as a reaction to another process. In most occurrences, oxygen is released after inflammation happens in the brain. The more inflammation, the more oxygen is released and the greater the negative effects on someone suffering from or in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Many important brain functions such as memory and brain deterioration are tied to the amount of oxygen in brain cells. CBD also has powerful antioxidant properties, allowing it to assist in the reduction of additional oxygen being released into the brain [5].

Unfortunately, many Alzheimer’s patients see a quick decline and, ultimately, destruction of their brain cells, so the potential of CBD to help keep the brain cells healthy for longer is very important. A recent study showed that CBD could actually have the ability to reverse and possibly prevent the development of Alzheimer’s by promoting the growth and development of brain cells, helping to keep the brain healthy [6]. This would help reduce how quickly the brain loses memory or other brain functions, so CBD for dementia and Alzheimer’s may be crucial for keeping cognitive abilities on a good level!
 

Vascular Dementia

In general terms, vascular dementia refers to a condition that causes a person to have problems with reasoning, planning, judgement, and other brain functions like memory. It’s caused by reduced or impaired blood flow to the brain. Researchers have discovered, however, that by using CBD to activate the CB2 receptors, they were able to observe better blood flow into the brain [7].
 

Dementia with Lewy Bodies

Lewy body dementia (LBD) is caused by abnormal deposits of protein in the brain called alpha-synuclein. These deposits, also called Lewy bodies, affect chemicals in the brain. When these brain chemicals are altered, a person can experience problems thinking, sleeping, moving, and maintaining their normal behaviors and mood. 

Because CBD does not block the chemical that LBD attacks, unlike other forms of pain or anxiety management drugs, it can be very effective as an anti-inflammatory treatment to reduce motor symptoms like tremors, rigidity, and bradykinesia [8].
 

Frontotemporal Dementia

Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) actually refers to a group of disorders all caused by progressive nerve loss in the frontal or temporal lobes of the brain. FTD often leads to depression or psychosis and is extremely debilitating to those who suffer from it. Unfortunately, many antipsychotic drugs used to treat this condition also lead to an increased risk of death. 

Research has shown CBD to be effective in alleviating the symptoms of frontotemporal dementia with none of the risks associated with other forms of medication. It works to reduce inflammation, reduce anxiety, reduce tremors, and maintain the everimportant circadian sleep rhythms [9].
 

Huntington’s Disease

Huntington’s disease (HD) is an inherited disorder resulting in damage and death of brain cells. Symptoms can present themselves early in the form of subtle changes in mood and mental abilities, followed by a lack of coordination and an unsteady stride. As with other forms of dementia, CBD helps control inflammation and adds powerful antioxidants to a patient’s treatment plan. CBD is also safer at higher doses, giving doctors and patients more options on how to use CBD for dementia [10].
 

Common Misconceptions

CBD is a relatively new product on the market and certainly new as a treatment for medical conditions. That means there are some things that people frequently misunderstand about the product. They include:

  • CBD is a sedative. This is untrue. Even in doses as high as 600mg, research has shown that CBD does not produce sedative effects in healthy humans. In fact, CBD can often work to clear the mind, making someone feel more alert. CBD has a calming effect, which often leads people to think it also means sedated, but it can work for either purpose. By clearing the mind, reducing anxiety, and alleviating pain, a person is free to do what they choose without  encountering these symptoms. Whether that be sleep or work is up to them. One thing to look for in CBD, however, is the amount of terpene myrcene in the strain being consumed. Myrcene is actually the compound responsible for activating a sedative state, so depending on a person’s needs, it could be beneficial to select a strain that has some of these powerful terpenes.
  • All CBD sources are the same. CBD can come from many sources and in many different forms. It’s important to know which source and type works best for each person’s individual needs. Reading labels, manufacturer reviews, and customer product reviews can be very helpful. Often CBD will come with thirdparty testing results. During the initial stages of working out dosing and CBD types, this information can make the decisionmaking process much easier.
  • CBD is legal in the United States. This can be tricky and is certainly not made any easier by the fluctuations in laws on a state-by-state basis. At a federal level, CBD with less than 0.3% THC is considered legal. Some states, however, have created their own laws and restrictions on CBD. Many states have age restrictions on sales, many only allow CBD by doctor’s prescription, and a few states still prohibit CBD in all forms. Before making a purchase, research what is legal in your state and follow those guidelines precisely. 

 

Conclusion 

Dementia is a life-changing condition for those who suffer and those who love them. It can seemingly end a life years before normal and cause tremendous suffering and pain to all involved. The possibility of CBD as a source of treatment, support and therapeutic aid for dementia is vital to patients and the research continues trying to find the best way to help them. Hopefully, soon we will know more about CBD oil and dementia and how the symptoms of this condition can be alleviated with it.
 

FAQS On CBD And Dementia

 

Can CBD Oil Help Dementia And Alzheimer’s Patients?

The research is still ongoing and we need more studies to be absolutely sure, but the preliminary findings are highly promising,indicating that CBD can actually assist dementia and Alzheimer’s patients keep brain function in better condition.
 

Wich CBD Is Best For Dementia?

To alleviate the symptoms of dementia, a patient is best using the forms that can be digested. Even though more research on the CBD gummies and dementia is still needed to confirm their effectiveness, they may be one of the best suggestions because they can alleviate the symptoms without the bitter taste associated with other forms of ingestion. 

However, if you are fine with the characteristic cannabis taste, there are also CBD oils that are highly recommended as well.
 

What Are The Best CBD Gummies For Dementia?

While choosing the best CBD gummies for dementia, it is crucial to choose a reliable provider that offers only safe and reliable products. Choosing our brand you can be sure that all the products are of the highest quality and have been carefully tested.
 

What Is The Best CBD Oil For Dementia?

When you are looking for the best CBD oil for dementia, follow the same rule as with the CBD gummies – don’t leave your purchases to chance, order them from a trustworthy source. In our online shop, you will find CBD edibles, oils and salves made from thoroughly researched and selected ingredients only.
 

Disclaimer

The statements expressed on this website are purely opinion of the author and not factual. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any products referenced on this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. It’s highly suggested to consult with your medical professional prior to any use of the products referenced on this website. This website and author specifically disclaim any liability in connection with the products contained on the website.

Michael-Lagnese

Michael Lagnese

Michael Lagnese is the co-founder and CEO of Mojave Rx - a consumer-focused CBD brand specializing in creating high potency products to support athletic performance, physical rehabilitation, and muscle recovery. Outside of his professional endeavors, Michael is also passionate about his personal growth journey. Exercise, meditation, reading, journaling, and continued education are all of the utmost importance and, in his opinion, the key to becoming a more effective leader. Above all, Michael is passionate about making a positive difference in people’s lives, and through Mojave Rx and their top-quality products, he hopes to continue on this journey for many years to come.