Alzheimers and Medical Marijuana

The disease known as Alzheimer’s is well-known to everyone.  It is a progressive disease that can cause brain cells to be damaged and not function.  Signs include loss of memory and progresses to where the disease affects behavior and people are no longer able to carry their normal daily functions.

About 50 million people worldwide suffer from some sort of dementia. The vast majority of these people (80%) are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.  Alzheimer’s known for the buildup of amyloid in the brain called plaque.  As the plaque buildup continues, people become confused, have trouble speaking and lose their memory.

One study in 2014 had 40 patients receive Dranabinoid which is a synthetic THC.  These patients had a decrease in agitation, longer periods of sleep and better appetites.  Overall most patients had improvement in their symptoms.

In 2015, The American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics published a review on the use of cannabinoids in late stage Alzheimer’s disease and concluded that cannabinoids can reduce plaque formation as well as reduce stress and inflammation.

Another study done in 2017 found that CBD reduced inflammation and promoted new brain cell formation.  In some rodent models it prevented cognitive deficits from developing.

The combination of CBD and THC seemed to damper psychoactive effects of THC and increase the therapeutic effects (THC and CBS are more effective than either one alone).  However, a Canadian book published a review in 2019 and their conclusion found limited evidence that medical marijuana can improve symptoms associated with dementia.  This only speaks to the fact we need clinical studies to further unlock the mystery to dementia and Alzheimer’s.

 

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