CBD has entered mainstream over the past half decade or so. This is due not only to the limited amount of research showing that it may provide health benefits for medical conditions such as anxiety, arthritis, insomnia, and inflammation but also due to the anecdotal evidence that many people have discovered from using CBD.
While people have found that CBD may benefit their conditions, additional research is needed to understand why CBD may provide these benefits, along with knowing what the effectiveness of CBD use may provide in the short and long term.
The Farm Act of 2018 legalized the cultivation of hemp, and while that has allowed the CBD industry to explode, the industry is in somewhat of a gray area when it comes to Food and Drug Administration and regulation.
Although there are many studies that have been completed, more is needed, including the potential benefits CBD oil may provide for dementia.
In this article, CBD School It will explain what dementia is, and what is currently known about the benefits that CBD may provide to those suffering from this debilitating disease.
What is dementia?
Dementia is actually an umbrella term for a wide range of conditions that affect one’s daily life, and the ability to take care of oneself. Some common conditions are memory loss, decreased ability to think properly, aggressiveness, and agitation.
While dementia can strike people at a younger age, the age group for people between the ages of 55 and 90 is the one most commonly associated with dementia.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, however, there is a short list of disorders that fall under the term dementia.
Below we will explain what each of those are.
Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60%-80% of dementia cases due to specific changes in the brain. The disease gets progressively worse, and one common sign is recurring short-term memory loss. This may manifest as not remembering a conversation that happened a few minutes ago, or perhaps earlier in the day.
The next most common type is vascular dementia, which affects about 10% of dementia patients. This disorder is caused by tiny amounts of blood and blockage of blood vessels in the brain. The common symptoms are strokes and mini-strokes.
Lewy body dementia
On top of the symptoms of amnesia, people with Lewy body dementia also have problems with balance and movement in general. Some experience muscle stiffness or tremors, while, along with possible hallucinations, they may have trouble sleeping.
Symptoms associated with this type of dementia are someone making inappropriate or depersonalized comments or acting out of character.
This type of dementia is exactly what it looks like when someone has multiple types of dementia. This is not always easy to diagnose because many symptoms overlap, and unfortunately if someone has mixed dementia, the disease may progress faster than with one type of dementia.
Can CBD oil treat dementia or its symptoms?
Unfortunately, there is very little research on the potential benefits of CBD and dementia. Two studies have been completed that neither prove nor refute much about CBD’s effectiveness and its ability to help treat dementia.
In 2021 the study was entitled Cannabis to treat dementia “We found low-certainty evidence to suggest that there may be little or no clinically significant effect of cannabis on the general behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia assessed using the Neuropsychological Inventory,” he said.1
The same study reached the conclusion, similar to other studies conducted on the topic of CBD, that “systematically robust and adequately supported trials with longer follow-up are needed to properly assess the effects of cannabis in dementia.”1
While it’s a bit early to understand what potential CBD might have on dementia patients, there are some positive signs between symptoms and those with dementia and what CBD has shown as a potential cure.
These include infections that are a symptom of many conditions including Alzheimer’s disease. Since inflammation increases the negative impact of Alzheimer’s disease, it is a good sign of that CBD can help those dealing with inflammation.
As mentioned above, vascular dementia affects blood flow properly, among other symptoms. CBD has shown potential to help blood flow within the body, again a positive sign.2
Is there research to support CBD oil helps dementia?
In 2019, a study at King’s College used an oral spray called Sativex on 60 participants from nursing homes in the United Kingdom.
Sativex was originally approved, in the United Kingdom and the United States, to treat people with multiple sclerosis (MS), and each dose contains 2.5 mg THC and 2.5 mg CBD. The relief people get from using Sativex for MS is that the patient finds relief from joint pain.
The symptom that the researchers intended to find out if the drug worked on people with dementia was to treat agitation and aggression.
Principal investigator Chris Albertin notes that, “In each of those sprays, you get about 2.5 milligrams of THC and 2.5 milligrams of CBD. It’s important to note that CBD does not have a therapeutic effect per se. It increases and works synergistically with the ingredient THC”.3
Although we were unable to find the results at the time this article was published, it is a positive sign that researchers are setting out to find out whether a currently approved drug will have a similar beneficial effect in treating dementia symptoms.
Another study completed in 2021 came to the conclusion that “our findings indicate that CBD treatment enhanced IL-33 and TREM2 expression, alleviated symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, and delayed cognitive decline.”4
ScienceDaily, which reviewed the results of this study, explained that researchers found that “a two-week course of high-dose CBD helps restore the function of two proteins essential to reduce beta-amyloid plaque buildup, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease, and improves cognition in an experimental model of early familial Alzheimer’s disease.”5
Again, a very positive sign of CBD’s potential effectiveness on dementia symptoms.
Side Effects of Using CBD Oil
explore: Side Effects of Using CBD Products
Although there are mild side effects associated with CBD consumption, side effects usually occur when someone consumes too much CBD. To help prevent receiving any CBD side effects, it is recommended that you take some time to determine the ideal CBD dosage for yourself.
Some of the side effects associated with CBD, according to the Mayo Clinic, are dry mouth, diarrhea, decreased appetite, drowsiness, and fatigue.6
Although not enough research has been completed to show the short- and long-term effectiveness of CBD in treating dementia, the research that has been completed is somewhat promising that CBD may help relieve some of the symptoms associated with the disease.
If you have a family member with dementia, it’s best for you Consult your doctor About the methods of treating the disease.
1Bosnjak Kuharic, D., Markovic, D., Brkovic, T., Jeric Kegalj, M., Rubic, Z., Vuica Vukasovic, A., Jeroncic, A., & Puljak, L. (2021). Cannabis to treat dementia. Cochrane Database of Systematic ReviewsAnd the 9(9), CD012820. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD012820.pub2
2Benyó, Z., Ruisanchez, É., Leszl-Ishiguro, M., Sándor, P., & Pacher, P. (2016). Endocannabinoids in the regulation of cerebral vasculature. American Journal of Physiology. Cardiovascular physiologyAnd the 310(7), H785–H801. https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpheart.00571.2015
3Kahn, Dr. (2022, May 13). Oral Cannabis Spray Sativex tested for dementia in a large trial. be patient. Retrieved on July 28, 2022 from https://www.beingpatient.com/oral-cannabis-spray-sativex-dementia/#:~:text=The%20team%20will%20use%20Sativex,come%20with%20dangerous%20side %20 Effects.
4Khodadadi, H.; , Salis, E. L., Jarrahi, A., Costigliola, V., Khan, M. B., Yu, J. C., Morgan, J. C., Hess, D. C., Vaibhav, K., Dhandapani, K. M., & Baban, B. (2021). Cannabidiol improves cognitive function through upregulation of IL-33 and TREM2 upregulation in a murine model of Alzheimer’s disease.. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease: JADAnd the 80(3), 973–977. https://doi.org/10.3233/JAD-210026
5Teach daily. (2021, March 9). CBD reduces plaque and improves cognition in a familial Alzheimer’s disease model. informed daily. Retrieved on July 28, 2022 from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/03/210309192548.htm
6Bauer, B.A. (2020, December 18). CBD: Safe and Effective? Mayo Clinic. Retrieved on July 28, 2022 from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/expert-answers/is-cbd-safe-and-effective/faq-20446700