The medical industry is going through one of its best years. We now have enough resources and access to advanced technology to make great strides towards breakthrough discoveries.
The cannabis plant is one of the substances that took up the most spotlight in medical research in the last decade because of its two versatile compounds - THC and CBD.
While R&D departments are setting apart more and more time to discover the countless benefits of THC and CBD, cannabis is still a restricted substance in most countries, which makes the actual research much harder.
Nevertheless, the limits of the law don’t neglect CBD’s benefits for our health. In this article, we’ll discover the connection between CBD and dementia and its effect on this illness.
So, let’s first break down these terms piecemeal.
What Is Dementia?
It’s important to understand that dementia is not a single medical condition. It’s a medical term used to describe a spectrum of symptoms related to specific conditions like Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s disease, DLB, Huntington’s disease, etc. Those symptoms include memory loss, changes in cognitive behavior, and problem-solving skills. However, one of the worst symptoms of dementia is the lack of proper judgment, leading to easily avoidable situations with negative consequences.
So, how does dementia happen?
It all starts in the brain. People who have dementia are usually elders, and around 60% of the elderly worldwide are affected by this illness, as their cerebral systems deteriorate over time.
Our brains are made of multiple distinct regions, each responsible for different functions - movements, memory, behavior, judgment, and so on.
The first symptoms of dementia tend to show when brain cells start to become irreparably damaged, losing their ability to communicate. The entire flow of information throughout the brain tends to be disrupted, failing the normal thought process.
This results in impaired normal functions.
Some of those functions include:
- Learning abilities
Of course, these symptoms don’t hit all at once - the process of brain deterioration is slow.
Finally, most of these medical conditions don’t have a known cure. However, incorporating CBD in patients’ daily routine with dementia-related illnesses has turned out to be beneficial in many ways.
What Is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound found in the cannabis plant. CBD differs from THC, another dominant compound of the cannabis plant, because of its lack of psychoactive characteristics. This means that consuming CBD won’t give you the ‘high’ effect associated with consuming cannabis.
But even with the lack of psychoactive properties, CBD is still not exclusively legal. Due to this fact, many scientists face legal limitations when exploring the benefits of CBD.
But science hasn’t been blind to the fact that CBD can positively affect people living with dementia - let’s see how.
CBD Benefits For Dementia
Some of the symptoms of dementia are curable, but CBD can also simplify these people’s lives by doing this:
CBD is an excellent remedy for inflammation, one of the first bodily symptoms of the disease, easily managed with CBD oil. Furthermore, consuming CBD can stop any potential conditions that might also result in inflammation, as CBD has proven equally efficient both externally and internally.
Reduced Oxygen Buildup
Patients with dementia experience oxygen damage to their brains as a result of too much cranial inflammation. The inflammation can be reduced with CBD oil, but on top of that, CBD also has antioxidant properties, which can reduce oxygen stress levels and normalize brain functionality.
Growth of New Brain Cells
The process of growing new brain cells is called neurogenesis. By continually consuming CBD, patients can increase their chances to rejuvenate new brain cells.
There’s a pretty simple explanation behind it - when CBD is introduced to the system, CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain help create new brain cells.
CB1 receptors are present in the hippocampus - the part of the brain that’s the primary target for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. CB2 receptors can be found in microglia, which is the part of the brain where Alzheimer’s develops.
A study in 2011 by two Australian researchers, Tim Karl, and Carl Group, proves that CBD plays a crucial role in neurogenesis, which reduces memory loss in patients with dementia.
Living with dementia is far from easy, especially since usually, patients with dementia are dealing with other medical conditions. Although researchers are still at the starting stages, some studies prove CBD’s positive effect on the human brain and body.
Patients with dementia can try CBD to reduce stress levels, inflammation, and oxygen levels in the brain.
Still, it’s not the end yet: research is just ramping up, and we’re undoubtedly going to discover other benefits of CBD as well!