If you are reading this, the chances are good that you are familiar with Alzheimer's disease (AD) because you love someone that is suffering from the disease and you are looking for alternative therapies to the "traditional" medications. So lets talk about cannabinoids like CBD as a therapeutic approach to combatting Alzheimer's disease! But first, lets recap what you know, or perhaps you do not know about the disease.
AD is a debilitating neurodegenerative disease that impairs a person's ability to interact with the world around them. As Alzheimer's disease progresses, people experience greater memory loss and other cognitive difficulties. Problems can include wandering and getting lost, trouble handling money and paying bills, repeating questions, taking longer to complete normal daily tasks, and personality and behavior changes.
Why are novel therapies so important in AD?
For most people with Alzheimer's disease, their symptoms first appeared after the age 60. About 3% of men and women ages 65-74 have the disease, but nearly half of those age 85 and older may have the disease. With an average age at diagnosis of about 80, the United States is about to become ground zero for advanced cases of AD with nearly 10,000+ Baby Boomers turning 65 daily!
Simply put, novel therapies such as cannabinoids are essential in the fight against Alzheimer's Disease (AD) simply due to the fact that most medications used on AD patients do not help to regenerate neurons or new memories, they do not help the patients who are suffering from mood swings, nausea, vomiting or memory loss. While current AD treatments do not stop or reverse the disease’s progression, cannabinoids have shown great promise in neuron regeneration and in the reduction of inflammation within the brain and this highlights the need for new, more effective therapeutics such as Full-Spectrum Cannabidiol dominant oil products. Cannabidiol or CBD as it is commonly referred to, is a non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid that has demonstrated neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties within the body’s cells. Thus, full-spectrum oils have the potential as a multifunctional treatment option for AD patients.
CBD & Alzheimer's disease | Creating a cognitive advantage
Studies have demonstrated the ability of CBD to reduce reactive gliosis - which describes a response of astrocytes (sub-type of glial cells in the central nervous system) in situations such as neurodegenerative diseases - and the neuroinflammatory responses, as well as to promote neurogenesis (the formation of new neurons in the brain) which plays an important role in memory formation (Chapman et al., 2001).
Most importantly, CBD also reverses and prevents the development of cognitive deficits in AD patients. These cognitive deficits impair in an individual's mental processes and this can lead to problems relating to how a patient with AD acquires information and knowledge, thus driving how an individual understands and acts in the world around them.
So, what does this mean to you and your loved ones? In summary, CBD assists in the creation of new neurons inside the human brain, while also reducing neuropathic inflammation. Full-Spectrum CBD dominant tinctures help patients suffering from AD and dementia by creating new neuron responses which allow for the patient to better adapt and act in the world around them. In addition, CBD has the ability to assist in the creation of new neurons which allows for adult suffering from AD to mitigate/prevent mood swings and other affective disorders because they are no longer living with the fear of not knowing.
Full-Spectrum Oil Profiles (Hemp Oil that has <0.3% ∆9-THC) and Alzheimer’s Disease
Interestingly, a regimented full-spectrum CBD/∆9-THC therapy which are the most common active ingredient of the cannabis sativa plant, show that CBD can reduce/antagonize the psychoactive effects associated with ∆9-THC and possibly mediate greater therapeutic benefits than either of the two phytocannabinoid by themselves. This is commonly referred to as the entourage effect in numerous cannabis circles. Furthering therapeutic use of CBD and a full-spectrum CBD/∆9-THC combinations in Alzheimer’s patients, due to their abilities to assist in both inflammation and neurogenesis – this creates a novel approach to AD focused therapies.
Current Allopathic Treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease
Despite our increased understanding of disease mechanism, the current approved AD allopathic treatments only provide limited therapeutic benefits for the patients. Of the four approved drugs available in today’s market, three are acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (Rivistagmine, Donepezil and Galantamine) and one is a N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist (Memantine). Unfortunately, all of them have been associated with adverse effects.
For example, Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and weight loss, while memantine is known to cause hallucinations, dizziness and fatigue.
For those of you that still fear the use of cannabis as a therapy to combat AD, your loved one’s chances seem much greater to experience a “hallucination” from pharmaceutical treatments, than by ingesting a CBD/∆9-THC regiment. Both CBD and THC help quell nausea and vomiting because they interact directly with the body’s serotonin receptors.
Furthermore, of the four pharmaceutical drugs mentioned, none prevent or reverse the progression of the disease but rather they treat the disease symptoms with limited efficacy while a therapy consisting of a full-spectrum CBD dominant oil create new neurons inside of the mind, thus helping patients to function in society with less chances of mood swings due to the increased response of the body’s serotonin receptors.
So, I ask is the goal of pharmaceutical therapies to change the disease at a cellular level or is the Goal Quality of Life?
I ask this because cannabinoids allow for both while reducing the need for allopathic medicine regiments that spend more time treating the