Updated on August 28, 2018. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Richard Koffler, MD, Board Certified Physiatrist
Alzheimer’s disease touches the lives of numerous American families. Since we currently don’t have a cure for it, some families seek alternative approaches to their loved one’s medical care. While we still need more research to understand how marijuana affects the root causes of Alzheimer’s, we can still use it to relieve the symptoms it causes.
A popular form of cannabis medicine is cannabis oil. By refining the cannabinoids in marijuana into oil, we make a versatile medication we can consume in various ways.
When considering options for you or your loved one’s weed medication, you should understand there’s is no one answer that will work for every single patient. You must think about factors like your:
So, while we can talk about types of cannabis oils that can work for Alzheimer’s patients, the rest is up to you. You should talk with your doctor and dispensary staff to safely experiment with different products and determine the best choice.
Most weed newbies think of brownies when they think about marijuana edibles. But, there are a lot more options than you may think! Marijuana-infused cooking oils like olive oil and coconut oil can become part of your pantry and added to most of your favorite dishes and desserts.
You can find cannabis cooking oils in many places. Some dispensaries sell pre-made oils like coconut oil and butter. Alternatively, you can make your own at home if you can’t find any in stock.
Adding marijuana to oil lets you absorb its components, or cannabinoids, more easily. So, edible marijuana oil serves as a more effective medication than bud alone.
If you act as a caretaker for someone with Alzheimer’s, you can prepare one of their meals with the oil. Medicating with food can be less stressful for patients with severe Alzheimer’s disease.
Rick Simpson oil, or RSO, is sold in dispensaries or made by the patients themselves. Since the inventor of the oil, Rick Simpson, recommends using indica for RSO creation, it generally has a higher THC content. Research suggests THC could reduce the growth of plaques in the brain that cause neural degeneration.
You can add RSO to food, so it serves as another method that minimizes the anxiety an Alzheimer’s patient may feel when taking their medication. But, keep in mind that THC causes the psychoactive effects of marijuana, including paranoia. So, you may want to dose RSO carefully if your loved one is already prone to anxious episodes.
CBD oil is like Rick Simpson oil, except it contains primarily CBD instead of THC. You can also add it to food for convenient dosage.
Unlike THC, CBD provides the health benefits of weed without any mind-altering effects. So, you don’t have to worry about it exacerbating a patient’s mood issues. We also have some evidence of CBD promoting cellular growth in the part of the brain that governs memory.
Besides the previously mentioned marijuana oils, some patients vape or dab cannabis oil. Some dispensaries offer concentrates and oils meant specifically for those purposes. But, we don’t recommend using them to treat Alzheimer’s if the patient has progressed far in the disease.
While vaping doesn’t involve a direct flame, it still has heating elements that could put a patient in danger. If they don’t have the cognitive or physical capacity to take caution when vaping, injury could occur.
Dabbing can put a patient in even more danger, even when they’re in an early stage of Alzheimer’s. It involves heating a nail with oil on it and inhaling the resulting smoke. Only advanced marijuana users should attempt dabbing, as its effects are more intense than other methods of ingesting cannabis.
To find a dispensary where you can buy cannabis oil, search our directory of dispensaries in your area.