Nearly everyone has experienced losing their keys, forgetting a name, or walking into a room not remembering why at some point in their lifetime, now imagine that happening more frequently, combined with thoughts and behavior changes. For some this a harsh reality. Dementia is a group of conditions characterized by impairment of at least two brain functions, and it is life-altering. However, there may be new hope. CBD is gaining attention as a potential therapeutic treatment for both Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia, the two most common types of dementia.
Dementia And Cannabidiol (CBD)
Similar to arthritis and heart disease, dementia is not a specific disease, but rather a group of conditions characterized by the impairment of at least two brain functions, such as memory loss and judgment.
Common symptoms of dementia include forgetfulness, limited social skills, and thinking abilities so impaired that it interferes with daily functioning.
What is dementia?
Cognitive decline is easily one of the biggest fears among people over the age of 50. Nearly everyone has experienced losing their keys, forgetting a name, or walking into a room not remembering why at some point in their lifetime.
But imagine that happening more frequently, combined with thoughts and behaviour changes. The fear of developing a form of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease, is real for so many people. That same fear is the reason that learning more about the disease, including prevention and new Alzheimer’s treatments is very important to living the most fulfilled and healthy existence possible.
Common Causes Of Dementia
The two most common causes of dementia are Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.
Dementia is not a specific disease. It’s an overall term that describes a group of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of cases. Vascular dementia, which occurs after a stroke, is the second most common dementia type. But there are many other conditions that can cause symptoms of dementia, including some that are reversible, such as thyroid problems and vitamin deficiencies.
Considering as many as 5.5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, chances are, your life has already been touched by the disease in one way or another.
Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, and eventually the ability to carry out the simplest tasks. In most people with Alzheimer’s, symptoms first appear in their mid-60s. Estimates vary, but experts suggest that more than 5.5 million Americans may have Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s Disease Statistics
The following statistics come from the Alzheimer’s Association of America.
- 6th leading cause of death in the United States, but recent estimates indicate that the disorder may rank 3rd, just behind heart disease and cancer
- 5.7 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, this is projected to grow to 14 million by 2050
- 16.1 million Americans provide unpaid care for people with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia
- 18.4 billion hours of care valued at over $323 billion dollars is provided
- 1 in 3 seniors die with Alzheimer’s or another dementia
- 66% of Americans with Alzheimer’s are women
- $7.9 trillion could be saved in medical and care costs with an early and accurate diagnosis of the condition
Treating Alzheimer’s Disease With CBD
Neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s, often involve inflammation of the neural tissue. The initial inflammation that occurs is thought to be acting as a defence mechanism in the earlier stages. But after a while, it could develop into uncontrolled chain reactions, leading to chronic neuronal deterioration and inflammation. So, utilizing cannabis oil as an anti-inflammatory could help slow down the progression of the disease, allowing patients the option of an alternative, new Alzheimer’s medicine.
The release of reactive oxygen and oxidative stress are both key components of Alzheimer’s disease and tied to immune inflammation. Oxidative stress is generated when inflammation happens. This decreases the antioxidant ability of cells, causing free radicals production and reaction with proteins and fatty acids within cell membranes. When the amyloid beta is present, there is an elevation of reactive oxygen species in adjoining cells through exchanges with the membranes. This results in a loss of neurons and synapses within the brain, resulting in memory loss and a variety of other neurological symptoms. An antioxidant would help to slow it down.
Cannabis oil is getting attention for potentially aiding in the neurogenesis process (new neural tissue). With Alzheimer’s disease, neural tissue is on a course of rapid destruction, leading to the debilitating neurological effects such as memory loss, cognitive loss, and severe changes in personality. In fact, people who were once thought of as loving, kind, and gentle, can become mean and selfish, something loved ones have difficulty understanding. And, one of cannabis oil medical benefits is thought to be slowing down the progression of these devastating effects, if it stimulates neural tissue.
Vascular disease occurs where blood vessels are damaged and the supply of oxygen is at risk. If oxygen supply fails in the brain, brain cells are likely to die leading to a series of mini strokes (infarcts) and possible vascular dementia. Vascular dementia accounts for 20%-30% of all cases of dementia.
The mini strokes that cause vascular dementia are often so slight that they cause no immediate symptoms, or they may cause some temporary confusion. However, each stroke destroys a small area of cells in the brain by cutting off its blood supply and the cumulative effect of a number of mini strokes is often sufficient to cause vascular dementia. Vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease frequently occur together and they may often act in combination to cause dementia.
Treating Vascular Dementia With CBD
While the research is still in its infancy, there is promising data from the US National Institute of Health (NIH).
Vascular dementia is a general term describing problems with reasoning, planning, judgment, memory and other thought processes caused by brain damage from impaired blood flow to one’s brain. To effectively treat vascular dementia, a 2016 study by the US National Institute of Health (NIH) found that activating CB2 (cannabinoid) receptors in the brain helped recover better blood flow to the brain. Activating the CB2 receptors with CBD has increased brain cell activity and helped reduce brain cell damage commonly associated with vascular dementia.
Considering there is interesting clinical evidence showing that CBD may be able to target the underlying processes behind dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s disease, why wouldn’t you try it?
At TheraJoy, we have been making CBD products in the US for three years, and are proudly a market leader in topical CBD. TheraJoy is always made with 99% pure CBD derived from medical grade, non-GMO hemp, sourced directly from Switzerland. We offer purity you can trust, guaranteed. Our product is all-natural, organic, vegan, gluten-free and kosher.
Remember, always consult your doctor before you begin taking a supplement or make any changes to your existing medication and supplement routine. This blog post is not intended to be medical advice, but it is information you can use as a conversation-starter with your doctor at your next appointment.