One in nine Americans aged 65 and up are living with Alzheimer’s disease; by 2050, that population is expected to reach 12.7 million.
Unfortunately, there’s still no cure for this debilitating condition and more people are suffering every day, losing their memory and their quality of life.
For many years, researchers have worked on finding a cure for Alzheimer’s, but now, there has been a lot of talk about cannabis products potentially helping to protect the brain from the disease.
What We Know About Cannabis & Alzheimer’s
- To help with the effort in finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, the Alzheimer Society Research Program has explored the effects of endocannabinoids on mood and anxiety in patients with dementia and how nabilone, a synthetic cannabinoid can help address the agitation that’s related to Alzheimer’s disease.
- A few research studies and clinical trials were conducted to find out if cannabis can help treat dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and protect the brain from its deteriorating effects.
Several research papers published over the years showed that cannabinoid (CBD) components could be useful in treating and preventing Alzheimer’s disease because studies have proven that some CBD components could help suppress the main causative factors of Alzheimer’s disease.
These studies also revealed that using both CBD and THC components together is more useful in addressing the problem than using CBD or THC alone.
- Some clinical trials also revealed that cannabis can help in managing the behavioral symptoms of dementia, specifically aggression and agitation, but only in some instances. This still needs further research to be proven true and efficient.
Although there are existing medications to address these behavioral symptoms, the most potent ones have very harmful side effects including stroke or even death. This is why researchers have been focusing on using CBD and THC as a treatment alternative since these components interact with the body differently, thus making them safer for patients.
- While decades have been spent trying to learn about the effects of cannabis on the brain and how it can help address Alzheimer’s disease, a lot of research still needs to be done to ensure its efficiency.
In fact, some studies have revealed that the long-term use of cannabis could be associated with some memory problems, which is contrary to what experts are trying to achieve in protecting the brain against dementia.
Cannabis products are showing a lot of promise in the area of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia treatment. Although the Alzheimer’s Society revealed that there is still no concrete evidence to show that cannabis is useful in treating and preventing Alzheimer’s disease, there is hope that somehow it will help patients in the future.
The cannabis industry continues to flourish, however, because of all the benefits that it brings to patients suffering from different medical conditions. The hope is that one day, all the years of research will culminate in a CBD-based drug that will help patients live a good quality of life.