Alzheimer’s disease, commonly known as (AD), is an age-related neurodegenerative disorder. It’s the most common cause of dementia, a term for memory loss. People with AD are roughly around the age of 65 and according to recent data, increase every five to six years. Although there isn’t a cure for Alzheimer’s, medical experts are continuing to discover new ways to treat AD with the hope of slowing down its development.
For those who are diagnosed with AD, pharmaceuticals like Donepezil and Galantamine are the most common treatment options. However, researchers have found alternative ways of treatment that might help the transition of dementia to be easeful. Instead of constant medication, caregivers are looking for holistic treatments for their loved ones and one of these options is CBD.
As the wellness industry is welcoming CBD with open arms, medical experts are researching CBD oil and how it can help those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. But how would CBD help patients and does it do more harm than good?
How can CBD help Alzheimer’s patients?
A recent study found that using CBD in AD treatment may improve the pathological process of Alzheimer’s. CBD can enhance the immune system response and autophagy pathway to hippocampal neurons. What does that mean? The hippocampus is a section of our brain that helps with learning and memory. So, although CBD might not stop Alzheimer’s from fully developing, it can slow down the process and help the patient retain some of their memory by targeting the memory part of the brain.
“The entourage effect with the terpenoids, alpha or beta-pinene enhance the ability of the limbic system to increase memory retention and recall,” says Jessica Baker – herbalist and owner of a medical cannabis dispensary in Oklahoma City. “CBD does work to reduce inflammation and inhibit the causal factors of Alzehimer’s when CBD + THC are used together.”
Why does CBD in Alzheimer’s patients matter?
Having a loved one diagnosed with dementia can be tough and caregivers want to do whatever they can to help. And with the harsh side effects pharmaceutical medication can have on patients, caregivers are in search of alternative options but a few concerns are going this route.
Some experts question the effectiveness and purity of alternative treatments, claiming that cannabis/hemp is not FDA approved and lacks evidence on whether CBD is safe. However, a study conducted in 1998 with patients using CBD for Alzheimer’s was able to conclude that CBD as a neuroprotective antioxidant, was more potent, and worked the same way as standard medications without attendant toxicity.
If caregivers can find other methods of treatment that aren’t as harmful or run the risk of toxicity, it’s the best option for patients and families.
What can caregivers do if they want to use CBD in Alzheimer’s treatment?
Although there’s still research and data being developed on this new CBD discovery for brain trauma, cannabis is currently not FDA approved. Therefore, it’s important to speak with your doctor or health care provider before using CBD in treatment as dosage and medical history need to be taken into account.
Doing research and asking questions is always best before using CBD/THC on your own. And if you don’t feel comfortable speaking to your doctor regarding cannabis as an alternative treatment, search for a cannabis doctor who can give you all the important information you need for you and your family.
There may not be a cure for Alzheimer’s, but there can be an easier and healthier way to treat it. And as cannabis is slowly becoming the star in the wellness industry, with enough science-based evidence, CBD will without a doubt be a pillar of living an overall healthy lifestyle.