Alzheimer’s Disease and Medical Cannabis
Alzheimer’s disease is a chronic neurodegenerative disorder with no known cure. The illness that sets in during old age can have debilitating effects, including dementia, speech problems, and emotional problems. Limited treatments to the disease have made no significant success in the treatment of Alzheimer’s, prompting further research by scientists who are discovering medical cannabis could be a new method of therapy.
Alzheimer’s Disease Facts
The Alzheimer’s Association reports the projected number of people aged 65 and up who will have Alzheimer’s disease by 2050 is 13.8 million, up 8 million from the 2020 total of 5.8 million. The chronic condition, which sets in around 65 years old is somewhat discriminatory, affecting more women than men, and a higher number of African Americans than whites. According to the association, Alzheimer’s disease is the fifth leading cause of death for seniors. Even more daunting is between 2000 and 2018, Alzheimer’s disease doubled while the leading cause of death, which is heart disease, decreased.
The Impact of THC & CBD on Alzheimer’s Disease
A 2018 study conducted by the Society of Neuroscience reports after performing a clinical trial on adult mice, “long-term cannabinoid use alters metabolism and connectivity of brain regions involved in learning and memory.” The research findings from the 2018 mice study confirm a 2016 Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease report on human research revealing THC has the “potential” to treat the chronic condition. The human study concluded that after treating ten patients with Alzheimer’s disease who used medical cannabis, their behavior, and psychological symptoms reduced.
And it’s not just recent studies that prove medical cannabis can alleviate symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. A 2006 Molecular Pharmaceutics study showed a molecular link between THC and Alzheimer’s disease pathology, purporting the report provided “a previously unrecognized molecular mechanism through which cannabinoid molecules may directly impact the progression of this debilitating disease.”
CBD has reportedly been as effective in treating Alzheimer’s and dementia as THC. Project CBD reports several studies and reports that show success in treating memory loss with cannabinoids. The use of CBD has also aided in alleviating the aggression and agitation associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Some research even suggests the use of medical cannabis could prevent the condition altogether.
Be it THC or CBD, the positive effects of both in medical cannabis treatment of Alzheimer’s has given newfound hope for the disease that takes away the memories of a lifetime at the end of one’s life.