Updated on January 25, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia that causes memory and thought process issues that worsen over time. Alzheimer’s frequently manifests as a memory loss issue that can interfere with the patient’s cognitive function and ability to perform daily tasks.
This neurological disease stems from the loss of neurons in the brain, causing irreversible impairment in memory and thinking skills. As the most common form of dementia, Alzheimer’s accounts for between 60 and 80 percent of all diagnosed cases in the world.
Although the side effects and severity of this condition may alter from patient to patient, common symptoms include:
Because the symptoms of Alzheimer’s can progress rapidly, it’s crucial to find an active form of relief. Although there is no known treatment for this disease, many individuals can lessen or alleviate their symptoms through a variety of medicinal therapies. One such option is cannabidiol (CBD), a compound found in the cannabis plant that provides effective relief for many patients, without the psychoactive effects.
Due to the complex nature of Alzheimer’s disease, researchers are still uncovering what role the endocannabinoid system plays in the formation of this type of dementia. However, growing research studies show the endocannabinoid system may play a crucial role in the creation of this disease.
Because the endocannabinoid system consists of various receptors and lipid signaling molecules responsible for regulating cognition, a disruption in these receptors may cause many of the symptoms suffered by Alzheimer’s patients.
It’s essential to note that Alzheimer’s typically targets the brain and brain tissue, two areas where abnormalities would impact the endocannabinoid system. For some, the loss of nerve cell connection results in plaque accumulation and variable nerve cell transmission. These disruptions essentially prevent the receptors found within the endocannabinoid system from keeping the body in homeostasis.
CBD works to regulate the endocannabinoid system by stimulating cannabinoid receptors crucial for fulfilling their functions. CB1 receptors constitute a vital component of the endocannabinoid system and are primarily responsible for neurotransmission behavior. These receptors are commonly found in the brain, such as in the hippocampus, basal ganglia and cerebral cortex. CBD stimulates cells within cannabinoids to produce their intended effect.
In the case of patients with Alzheimer’s disease, CBD mainly targets the CB1 receptors to produce a favorable immune response.
CBD is also widely known for its anti-inflammatory response. This property is especially significant for patients with Alzheimer’s, as it promotes neurogenesis and lessens neuroinflammatory responses. Neurogenesis is crucial for Alzheimer patients because the growth and development of new nervous tissue can prevent memory impairment and cognitive abilities from worsening over time.
Because cannabis has been shown to produce positive effects for many Alzheimer patients, it’s important to consider medical CBD as a potential form of treatment in some cases of dementia.
If you or a loved one are suffering from the undesirable side effects of Alzheimer’s disease and considering CBD to treat the condition, it’s essential to find the form of treatment best suited for your needs first.
One common form of cannabis intake is smoking, which provides an immediate sense of relief because the body absorbs the marijuana almost immediately. However, if an elderly patient considering CBD has throat discomfort or exhibits signs of wheezing, throat pain or coughing, it may be best to choose an alternative option.
You can also take CBD products by ingesting them — ingestible options include edibles, tinctures, capsules and more. The main perk of this form is the longer lasting effects, since your body will have to break down the product in order to feel relief.
Because topical CBD applications are ideal for targeting pain relief and specific areas, many patients with Alzheimer’s disease resort to smoking, vaping or eating edibles instead.
As researchers and doctors continue to uncover the curative properties of cannabis, they have begun to develop various CBD strains suited to treat a myriad of conditions. To effectively manage the side effects of Alzheimer’s disease, consider choosing from one of the following options:
Finding the ideal treatment plan and method of ingestion will often depend on the symptoms that manifest for a given patient. Remember to browse our list of marijuana strains to find out what cannabis varieties may work best for your condition.
When it comes to finding the ideal form of medicinal therapy for your health, nothing is more crucial than receiving the education you need to make informed decisions about your wellness plan. At MarijuanaDoctors.com, we provide you with the resources to connect to doctors in your areas, learn more about CBD products and stay up to date on the latest legislation and trends.
Learn more about Alzheimer’s Disease and what makes medical marijuana an effective treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease’s symptoms.