Here's How Cannabis Can Help Alzheimer's Disease
Anyone who has had to watch a loved one battle Alzheimer's will be quick to tell you that it's a horrific thing.
I have seen it occur in my own family, and it makes my heart heavy just thinking about it.
Alzheimer's disease is a neurological disorder which causes memory loss and cognitive decline.
It is estimated that roughly 5.4 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's, with a vast majority (5.2 million) of those sufferers being over the age of 65.
Alzheimer's is a neurodegenerative type of dymentia that starts mild and gets progressively worse.
There is currently no known cure for Alzheimer's disease.
However, research has shown that cannabis can be a promising preventative and treatment option to combat Alzheimer's.
Cannabis can help prevent/slow down Alzheimer's
A study from 2005 looked at the role that cannabinoids play in 'prevention of Alzheimer's disease pathology.'
That study concluded "that cannabinoid receptors are important in the pathology of AD and that cannabinoids succeed in preventing the neurodegenerative process occurring in the disease."
The group that was given cannabidiol performed tasks twice as fast as the group that had not been given cannabidiol.
But wait, there's more...
Cannabis may remove toxic protein associated with Alzheimer's
A recent study from June 2016 found that THC may possibly remove plaque forming Alzheimer's proteins from brain cells.
This plaque is called amyloid beta, and it is a toxic protein associated with the progression of Alzheimer's disease.
In the study results, Salk Professor David Schubert stated:
“Although other studies have offered evidence that cannabinoids might be neuroprotective against the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, we believe our study is the first to demonstrate that cannabinoids affect both inflammation and amyloid beta accumulation in nerve cells.”
Cannabis may help with other ailments associated with Alzheimer's
Those who suffer from Alzheimer's also likely suffer from other ailments.
For example: 'Nighttime agitation' is common in patients that suffer from Alzheimer's.
A study from 2006 looked at whether or not the dronabinol could help (dronabinol is a man-made version of THC used in many U.S. studies, not as effective as the actual cannabis plant but easier for researchers to access).
The study concluded:
"Dronabinol was able to reduce nocturnal motor activity and agitation in severely demented patients. Thus, it appears that dronabinol may be a safe new treatment option for behavioral and circadian disturbances in dementia."
Another issue that Alzheimer's suffers deal with is the loss of appetite.
It has long been known that cannabis can help increase a person's appetite, but what does science say about those specifically dealing with the issue as a result of battling Alzheimer's disease?
A study released in 2003 looked at dronabinol and appetite, and concluded, "Our research suggests dronabinol may reduce agitation and improve appetite in patients with Alzheimer's disease, when traditional therapies are not successful."
Cannabis, Alzheimer's and More:
Watch Green Flower's online course with Michele Ross, PhD
The topic of cannabis and Alzheimer's is complex
Do you know someone who suffers from Alzheimer's?
Have you talked with them and/or their loved ones about exploring cannabis as a treatment?
Numerous studies show that cannabis can be an effective form of treatment.
I am by no means a doctor, and healthcare decisions are a big deal.
If you would like to learn more about cannabis and Alzheimer's, you can check out Green Flower's new online all about cannabis and brain health (including Alzhiemer's).
I urge you to share the course (which you can do for free) with anyone whom you think would benefit from the information.
Would you recommend cannabis to someone you know that suffers from Alzheimer's?