CBD for Alzheimer’s – Hemp Is Giving Optimism to Seniors, Here’s Why…
CBD Shows Promise for Preventing and Treating Alzheimer’s
Bringing Hope to Millions Who Are Affected
You may already know CBD has a wide range of therapeutic uses, but did you know its healing power is being considered as a potential drug to help treat and prevent Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases?
It’s true. And the research is promising.
More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s. It affects one in ten people over the age of 65. And one in three over the age of 85.
This progressive brain disease results in mental deterioration with symptoms that include confusion, memory loss, and trouble communicating.
But here’s the good news…
The pharmacologically active cannabis compound, cannabidiol (CBD) is showing great promise in its potential to prevent and slow this devastating disease.
And CBD is showing itself to be effective at treating some specific symptoms of Alzheimer’s as well.
We’ll discuss those in a minute.
While there is currently no known way to stop, reverse, or prevent Alzheimer’s, research is pushing forward at a frenzied pace, and exciting discoveries are being made all the time.
We may soon find that CBD is an effective way to help treat and prevent Alzheimer’s.
What makes CBD such a good candidate for treating Alzheimer’s?
Our endocannabinoid system (ECS) regulates many of the physiological processes in our bodies but is mainly responsible for regulating our nervous system.
Patients with Alzheimer’s have an ECS that is disrupted by their disease. Fortunately, CBD and other cannabinoids have positive therapeutic effects on the ECS.
The major ways CBD has been shown to be beneficial for Alzheimer’s are —
- Acting as a Neuroprotectant
- Reducing Oxidative Stress Damage
- Promoting Brain Cell Growth
- Reducing Inflammation
Which is fueling hopeful research that…
CBD May Help Prevent Alzheimer’s
CBD Has Strong Neuroprotective Properties
The full extent of CBD’s neuroprotective properties are only beginning to be understood, and we won’t know for sure whether CBD is capable of preventing Alzheimer’s disease for some time.
But we do know for certain that CBD has beneficial effects on our brain. And the potential to be an effective prevention and treatment for Alzheimer’s certainly exists.
Here’s why the research is so exciting…
One of the key indicators of Alzheimer’s is its association with the buildup and clumping of a protein in the brain called amyloid. These clumps keep cells in the brain from receiving vital nutrients and important signals during synapsis and eventually cause the brain cells to die.
And CBD can help…
In a recent study published by the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Italian researchers concluded that CBD could effectively inhibit the expression of the toxic precursor protein amyloid beta.
Their work demonstrated that when CBD is introduced as a pretreatment, it inhibits the production of genes that correlate to Alzheimer’s disease.
And a 2006 study conducted by a team of researchers at the University of Connecticut and published in Molecular Pharmaceutics, concluded that cannabis “could be considerably better at suppressing the abnormal clumping and malformed proteins that is the hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease than any currently approved prescription.”
At the time that research was conducted, the team predicted a near-future of cannabinoid-based medications to treat Alzheimer’s.
So is the future of CBD medicine for Alzheimer’s finally here?
CBD has great potential to play a key role in the development of treatments aimed at preventing Alzheimer’s.
And that’s not all. CBD is also showing the potential to treat Alzheimer’s as well.
CBD May Effectively Treat Alzheimer’s
While a lot of research is focused on understanding how CBD may be able to prevent Alzheimer’s, much more is focused on how CBD may be able to slow or stop existing conditions of patients who already have Alzheimer’s.
The enthusiasm for this research is grounded in CBD’s proven capability to heal and protect brain cells.
Here’s how the healing power of CBD may help treat Alzheimer’s…
Oxidative stress is related to a wide variety of diseases including Alzheimer’s. It is caused by oxygen being released in the brain’s cells as a reaction to the stress induced by the presence of the disease. As the oxidative stress increases, the disease progresses, and memory deteriorates. But with potent antioxidant properties, CBD has been shown to help reduce and repair oxidative stress, and improve brain function. Other antioxidants include vitamin C and vitamin E, but CBD is more powerful.
The brain cells of Alzheimer’s patients typically show rapid decline and deterioration. CBD has been shown to have the potential to stimulate brain tissue and promote the growth of brain cells. In clinical trials, CBD has demonstrated the ability to prevent and even reverse the negative impacts of Alzheimer’s – fueling the anticipation of further research and clinical trials.
Chronic inflammation is believed to be the root cause of many diseases. It is also the core cause of many symptoms experienced by Alzheimer’s patients. CBD has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that can be beneficial in reducing these symptoms.
And that’s not all CBD can do…
While Alzheimer’s is the largest subset of dementia, research suggests CBD may also be useful for treating other related forms of this neurodegenerative disease.
Dementia with Lewy Bodies
This is the second most common form of progressive dementia, immediately following Alzheimer’s. It is associated with the abnormal buildup of a protein called alpha-synuclein. The deposits of this protein are called Lewy bodies and they adversely affect the chemicals in our brain. This can lead to issues with mood, sleep, movement, behavior, and cognition. The problem with most medications prescribed to manage the pain, anxiety, and behavior issues associated with this disease, is that they also block acetylcholine – the primary brain chemical that this disease attacks. Meaning our current method of treating the symptoms of this disease have the potential to make the underlying problem worse. But – CBD is offering new hope. Unlike existing drugs on the market, CBD does not block acetylcholine and can also be used to help reduce tremors, sleep issues, and inflammation.
This form of dementia is caused by damage from impaired blood flow to the brain. It results in patients having a hard time with planning, judgment, reasoning, and memory. Research has shown that when CBD activates the CB2 receptors in our brain, it helps improve blood flow. The activated CB2 receptors can reduce associated brain cell damage.
Frontotemporal Dementia / Pick’s Disease
With this form of dementia, the brain’s frontal or temporal lobes are impaired by disorders that cause nerve cell loss. The symptoms of this disease include depression and psychosis. Again, CBD may prove to be more beneficial than the current antipsychotic medications which are associated with an increased risk of death. CBD has no such increased risk and has the potential to help reduce tremors, anxiety, and inflammation while improving sleep.
And here’s something else you should know…
Terpenes Have an Important Role, Too
What are terpenes?
Terpenes are the aromatic essential oils found in cannabis (and all other plants) that enhance its effects and therapeutic benefits. Terpenes also give cannabis flavor and aroma.
Like other cannabis compounds, terpenes are pharmacologically-active. More than 20,000 terpenes are present in nature.
Plants use terpenes to protect against herbivores and attract pollinators. Cannabis has naturally high concentrations, with about 100 known terpenes.
Terpenes powerfully affect the way cannabis reacts with our endocannabinoid system. This largely has to do with the synergistic relationship terpenes have with other cannabis compounds.
In this relationship, the therapeutic benefits of terpenes are enhanced in a phenomenon known as the entourage effect.
Here are some of the terpenes that hold the greatest promise for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients —
Expect an earthy, sweet scent from this terpene that can also be found in many culinary plants like rosemary, basil, and peppers. You’ll also find it in cedar, pine, and fir. Carene can help repair bones – particularly if damaged by malnutrition. It is also known to stimulate memory and retention, causing it to be of significant interest to cognitive research.
Eucalyptol is the primary terpene in eucalyptus trees. It is also found in rosemary, bay, and sage. Its signature pungent scent is very popular in aromatherapy and widely used in healing centers. Its cooling effect has been shown to ease pain, stress, and tension, and reduce blood pressure. Eucalyptol has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and is showing promise as a topical treatment for peripheral neuropathy patients. It may also prove to help slow cognitive function decline triggered by neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.
This terpene is the most present in the flowers of geraniums and gives them their sweet, delicate scent. It is also found in many foods like lemons, coriander, and blueberries, to name a few. It is a regular ingredient in items produced by the food and cosmetic industries, where it is used to develop sweet, fruity scents and flavors. It is also produced in the scent glands of honeybees and helps them track and navigate their way to-and-from nectar-producing plants and their hive. As a therapeutic treatment, a recent study has demonstrated that geraniol can delay some symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
Commonly used as an ingredient in household cleaners, cosmetics, and aromatherapy products, Linalool is a natural oil found in lavender, cinnamon, mint, citrus fruits, and much more. It is a powerful relaxant and promotes sleep. It has been found to be helpful in calming agitation that Alzheimer’s patients often experience.
This terpene, like the others, is found in many plants in nature. Some of those plants include pine nuts, sage, parsley, dill, and juniper berries. It has a strong pine scent and is often used in small amounts as an ingredient in food, cosmetics, and household cleaners. Its primary benefit to Alzheimer’s patients is its capability to inhibit the breakdown of acetylcholine, which plays a major role in memory function.
Common in both citrus and cannabis, limonene is often used as an ingredient in foods and beverages where it lends a tart, sour, fresh flavor. It is also used as an antidepressant and immune booster, which is how it may benefit Alzheimer’s patients.
And perhaps most interestingly…
This terpene has the distinction of also being a cannabinoid – and it may be the most important terpene relative to treating Alzheimer’s. It is also found in cloves, hops, rosemary, and other common plants. What makes it such a good candidate for treating Alzheimer’s is its ability to help clear the toxic precursor protein amyloid beta from the brain.
The synergy between cannabis compounds like CBD and terpenes is advancing the idea that treatments which combine different compounds may be more effective than ones that are based on CBD as an isolate.
But as mentioned earlier, there are some Alzheimer’s symptoms that CBD alone has demonstrated its potential to treat effectively.
And those specific symptoms CBD has the potential to treat are…
CBD May Effectively Treat Symptoms of Alzheimer’s
In studies, CBD is showing promise in not only having the potential to slow or possibly stop the progression of the disease but also to treat some of the associated symptoms.
These specific symptoms include —
Sleeplessness does not typically last through all stages. It usually occurs at the peak stage of Alzheimer’s. CBD has known sedative effects that promote sleep.
- Agitation and Aggression
Often, Alzheimer’s patients will experience increased confusion, anxiety, and agitation that starts late in the day. This is common in moderate to severe stages of the disease. CBD can ease anxiety and help manage aggression.
- Loss of Appetite
As Alzheimer’s progresses, patients typically experience a loss of appetite and begin to lose weight. CBD naturally promotes appetite and can be helpful in combating unhealthy weight loss.
Severe cases of Alzheimer’s can include seizures. CBD has been shown to be effective in reducing seizures in epilepsy patients. All indications are that it has the potential to do the same for patients suffering from episodes of dementia-related seizures.
During the early and middle stages of Alzheimer’s, it is very common for patients to fall into a state of depression. CBD protects neurons in the hippocampus – which is the area of the brain that becomes atrophied during depression. But the hippocampus is resilient and CBD has been proven to be an effective treatment for helping it recover by reducing neuron atrophy.
- Skin Infections
Patients with Alzheimer’s are prone to various infections that may result in uncomfortable, itchy skin. CBD can relieve the symptoms of many common skin conditions.
The Future of CBD Treatments for Alzheimer’s
Laboratory research has been critical for establishing a foundation for more in-depth a investigation to move research forward, and now clinical trials of CBD as a treatment for Alzheimer’s are on the horizon.
In the U.K., Alzheimer’s patients are beginning clinical trials of Sativex,® a cannabis-based drug. Administered as a peppermint-flavored mouth spray, it contains both CBD and THC compounds.
Patients in the trial are between the ages of 55-90. Researchers hope the treatment will show promise for alleviating the common symptoms of aggression and agitation.
Previous studies of the drug were conducted with people who have Multiple Sclerosis, and those studies yielded some promising results, leading Sativex,® to be approved for some MS patients.
Research in the US has been slower to move forward, primarily because of the difficulties surrounding the federal status of cannabis and the legal requirements imposed for studies to be conducted.
It is expected that US research will move forward more rapidly as scientists around the world begin to uncover new revelations about the therapeutic potential of CBD and other cannabis compounds.
Here is the key take away –
We don’t yet have the answers for how to prevent and cure Alzheimer’s disease, but the proven therapeutic benefits of CBD are driving research to find better treatment solutions.
And this exciting area of research has ignited new hope that safer, more effective medication options for Alzheimer’s patients will soon be available.
In the meantime…
Experience CBD’s Other Benefits
Of course, CBD has been used effectively to treat a wide range of issues other than Alzheimer’s. And you can experience those therapeutic benefits.
CBD comes in a variety of consumables, sprays, and topicals, but perhaps the easiest way to get started is with CBD oil. Some products contain an isolate, and some contain a full spectrum of cannabinoids.
Due to the synergistic nature of the compounds present in cannabis and the enhanced benefits produced by their interaction, full-spectrum oils are generally recommended.
Want to try CBD Oil for yourself?
With so many choices now available, it can be overwhelming to get started. But we’ve got you covered. Check out our Definitive Buyer’s Guide to Full-Spectrum CBD Oil.
It will cover everything you need to know to feel confident in making your first purchase.
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