(Here is how Cannabis can be an effective remedy for Alzheimer’s disease.)
Life is not easy with Alzheimer’s disease or AD.
It is a mental illness which damages the nerve cells in the memory area of the brain. The shrinkage of the brain region is another trademark symptom of the disease.
As a result, it leads to a decline in mental abilities which in turn causes confusion, impaired judgment and behavior and progressive memory loss.
With decreased cognitive ability, the patients are not able to do their routine activities or even reading and writing. Even worse, the bodily functions are lost over the time which ultimately leads to death. It is estimated that over 44 million people worldwide have Alzheimer’s.
Well, there are many medications to help manage the symptoms of AD. They slow down the degeneration of the brain. However, the medical community is continued to experiment to find out if alternative medications can work for AD.
And cannabis is one of those alternative medications for Alzheimer’s Diseases.
Over the years, many studies have found that cannabis can ease the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. For example, it can prevent cell damage and inflammation—two of the key changes in the brain during AD.
On the basis of those studies, here is how cannabis can be a promising remedy for Alzheimer’s.
1.Cannabis Slows Down the Buildup of Neural Plaques
Many molecular and cellular changes occur in the brain of a person suffering from Alzheimer’s. One of those changes is the buildup of amyloid plaques in the neural tissue. Amyloid plaques destroy the connection between the nerve cells. These connections, also known as synapses, act as a point of contact between one neuron to another that “facilitates” the communication throughout the body and brain.
Marijuana can be a potent remedy to inhibit the formation of neural plaques. THC, a major psychoactive compound found in marijuana, can slow the overgrowth of the plaques, according to one study published in Molecular Pharmaceutics.
A 2014 study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease also confirmed the role of THC in eradicating the plaques. This way, cannabis can be a potent remedy for managing AD.
2.Cannabis Reduces Inflammation
Cannabis is also shown to reduce inflammation in several diseases, thanks to its anti-inflammatory compound known as CBD.
Study also shows that Δ9-THCA has potential to treat neuroinflammatory diseases.
This positive of cannabis can be quite beneficial as inflammation is a suspected cause of Alzheimer’s.
Inflammation in the brain leads to irritation and swelling in the brain tissues or blood vessels. The inflammatory mechanisms can speed up the progressionof Alzheimer’s disease, according to a joint study by the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and the University of Bonn.
A study by Salk Institute confirmed that CBD in cannabis not only minimize the inflammation in neurons, but also remove the plaques.
3.Cannabis Protects the Cells
In Alzheimer’s, brain cells are damaged throughout the brain which aggravates the condition.
Here cannabis can help. Many studies have claimed that cannabis can protect brain cells.
In 2004, a team of Italian researchers has successfully proved the neuro-protective properties of cannabis.
They first exposed the cells to the AD that causes plaques and then they treated them with CBD. Moreover, the anti-inflammatory effect of cannabis can also help in the survival of the nerve cells.
4.Cannabis Prevents the Further Symptoms of Alzheimer’s
Cannabis helps control the devastating symptoms of AD as it supports appetite stimulation, behavioral problems and motor functions. The Journal of Alzheimer’s disease has also stated that cannabis can ease symptoms like anxiety, insomnia, hallucinations, and depression caused by AD.
It not only helps the patients, but also ensures a great peace of mind to the caregivers. After all, it is very distressing and stressful to take care of someone with Alzheimer’s.
5.Cannabis Stimulates Cell Growth
Another benefit of cannabis for AD patients is that it can stimulate the growth of neural tissues linked to the memory. Being termed as “neurogenesis”, this mechanism was explored and explained in a 2011 study. Besides, a 2007 study has also observed the role of CBD (cannabis’s compound) in the brain repair mechanisms.
On the basis of these benefits, cannabis can be a promising remedy for people with Alzheimer’s. It’s a holistic approach to heal the symptoms of AD, especially for those experience side effects with AD medication. However, it is important to take medical marijuana under the supervision of your physician. A physician will determine the doses according to the symptoms as well as the decree of the condition. All the best!
Romit is a Marketing Manager at Phytoplant Research S.L., a Medicinal plants research and development company in Spain.