Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia that worsens over time, interfering with memory, thinking, and behavior. Cannabis medicine is used to calm agitated Alzheimer’s patients, encourage sleep, and increase appetite. Due to the neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory qualities of the plant, CBD is being researched extensively to help slow the actual cause and progression of the disease.
There are three ways CBD can work to improve health outcomes for persons with dementia: by reducing inflammation, by reducing oxygen buildup, and by working as a brain stimulant and neuroprotectant. From a user’s perspective, CBD may reduce stress and anxiety in the individual with dementia as well as reduce the decline of memory and other brain functions.
Alzheimer’s patients’ brain cells often show a path of rapid decline and destruction. The potential of stimulating brain tissue was recently discovered as a potential benefit of CBD. In clinical trials, CBD has shown the ability to reverse and even prevent the development of Alzheimer’s negative impact. A 2011 study by Australian researchers Tim Karl and Carl Group found that CBD promotes the growth and development of brain cells, reducing the decline of memory and other brain functions.
Historically, in 1890, Sir John Russell Reynolds, MD, physician to Queen Victoria, published an account of using cannabis to treat senile dementia in the British medical journal The Lancet. He found a moderate dose given at bedtime gave calming results in agitated patients for months and even years without a need to increase dose.
To create calm in Alzheimer’s patients, dosing can start low, around 5-10 mg of a high myrcene strain of CBD. To achieve anti-inflammatory results in the brain, doses as high as 160-600 mg are being used in most trials.
Always check with your medical professional before discontinuing any medications.
“Alzheimer’s Disease.” Cannabis Pharmacy: The Practical Guide to Medical Marijuana, by Michael Backes, Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, 2014, pp. 176-177
DementiaCareCentral.com. “Using CBD (Cannabidiol) to Treat the Symptoms of Alzheimer's & Other Dementias.” Dementia Care Central, 17 Feb. 2020, www.dementiacarecentral.com/aboutdementia/treating/cbd/