Alzheimer’s disease is a chronic neurodegenerative disease that, over time, can cause dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is genetic in around 70% of cases, but head injuries, hypertension and depression are also risk factor. Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by plaque caused by the “clumping together” of the amino acid amyloid beta. Symptoms include loss of memory, mood swings, difficulty processing language, loss of motivation and an inability to care for oneself. Nearly 30 million people worldwide suffer from Alzheimer’s disease.
Using cannabis for Alzheimer’s Disease is proving a bit controversial. One reason for this is because Alzheimer’s Disease is a neurological condition, and as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) can cause sensorial changes, many would warn Alzheimer’s sufferers to be sceptical of cannabis.
Yet, there are more and more studies coming out suggesting that cannabis can be beneficial for those with Alzheimer’s Disease.
CBD can act as a neuroprotectant and anti-inflammatory, protecting against the buildup of plaque and potentially even promoting neurogenesis and thereby staving off dementia.
Although THC can help with pain and mood swings, it may also exacerbate other issues associated with Alzheimer’s, such as memory loss. A CBD-rich product or strain may possibly be ideal to help reduce inflammation, but this is not to say that THC has no value whatsoever, especially when it comes to controlling any anxiety or rage an Alzheimer’s sufferer may be going through. In some instances, a synthetic form of THC, named Marinol, may prescribed for patients, though how effective this is in comparison to non-synthetic versions with other cannabinoids intact remains to be seen.