Dementia May Find Relief In Cannabis With Even More Help On The Way

There are multiple types of dementia. Alzheimer’s is one of them, and it is the number one type of dementia afflicting 1 in 3 seniors. Six million seniors live with dementia today and may suffer from its debilitating effects such as severe memory loss, insomnia, anxiety, pain, hallucinations, paranoia, wandering, night-time behaviors, violence, aggression, and agitation.

Drugs used to treat all types of dementia aim to replace the memory molecule in the brain, but treatments have been unsuccessful in halting the disease’s degenerative progression. Many people who have dementia reported that the side effects of these “black box drugs” are as harmful as the symptoms themselves and warn of severe safety risks.

Cannabis As A Treatment

Dementia is caused by plaque buildup of the beta-amyloid protein, which becomes lodged between neurons (brain cells), causing loss of function and cell death. Dr. Ethan Russo, a neurologist and renowned cannabis doctor, explains that there is good evidence shown in laboratory results that CBD and THC together can interfere with the buildup of these abnormal proteins in the brain, which are the hallmarks of the disorder.

Many believe phytocannabinoids (THC, CBD, CBG, CBN) found in the cannabis plant can act as a neuroprotector to prevent the plaque buildup that causes dementia. There are also benefits from using terpenes found in the cannabis plant, such as pinene, which is believed to boost short-term memory, linalool to relieve anxiety, and limonene to alleviate depression.

Many doctors and nurses are experimenting with phytocannabinoid formulas and dosing to target and hopefully relieve behavioral and sleep issues of the disease.

Researchers are hopeful that cannabis medicine will be shown to stop or slow the disease with more research. For now, it may not cure dementia, but it will likely alleviate the symptoms and increase the chances for a better quality of life.

As we age, the ability to produce cannabinoids declines and causes an unbalanced endocannabinoid system (ECS), leaving the body unhealthy and susceptible to illness and disease. The more severe the condition, such as dementia, the higher the level of ECS dysfunction.

According to world-leading cannabis researcher David Meiri, “Dementia reduces endocannabinoid activity, and it makes sense that cannabis will compensate that.”

When cannabinoid production declines and ECS dysfunction kicks in, deterioration of the brain is accelerated and can cause dementia, memory loss, or Alzheimer’s disease.

Is Menopause the Reason Women Are More Prone To Dementia?

Dementia is more prevalent in women, and this begs the question-is menopause the culprit?

Menopause signals the end of childbearing years for women when their estrogen and progesterone hormone levels decrease as part of the aging process.

Hormones act similarly to endocannabinoids in that they are chemical messengers that can trigger profound changes in the way a cell performs. They also control the enzymes that destroy endocannabinoids once they complete their function. These activities demonstrate hormones not only interact with the ECS to regulate the reproduction system, but they travel through the bloodstream to work in other areas of the body to support the endocannabinoid system.

In addition, 50% of the brain’s neurons contain estrogen hormone receptors, but 90% of hormone production gets depleted from the body at the onset of menopause. As a result, homeostasis is disrupted, and brain functions that control mood, learning, and memory are negatively affected, causing endocannabinoid dysfunction. Is this enough to plunge some women into dementia?

Cannabis Prohibition Destroyed Lives, Not Saved Lives

The endocannabinoid system was discovered in 1992 by Dr. Mechoulam from Hebrew University in Jerusalem. But, minimal cannabis research has been done in the United States since then because of its Schedule 1 illegal status.

But, the US Department of Health seems to share the belief that cannabis has antioxidant and neuroprotective properties and can limit neurological damage since it owns patent #US6630507B1 around this theory since 1998. Sadly, many lives may have been saved if they had access to cannabis medicine.

 

 

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