If you have ever experienced the sadness and heartbreak of watching a loved one slip away into the clutches of dementia, you will be able to relate to just how painful and stressful this degenerative disease is. Paired with the frustration of trying medication after medication, yet nothing seems to work. And those pharmaceuticals that appear to have a positive effect for a short amount of time are often accompanied by horrendous side-effects that make you question if their use should be stopped altogether.
Approximately 50 million senior citizens around the world are currently battling this debilitating illness, with an astonishing 10 million new cases presenting themselves each year. Known as the silent killer, dementia takes no prisoners and shows no compassion.
Living With Dementia
Dementia is not a singular illness, but an umbrella term given to a range of degenerative diseases that affect different parts of the brain. Some people tragically only discover that their loved one is suffering from this crippling illness when it is already in its advanced stages and the time left with them is already in its final stages. And without a doubt, the worst thing about Dementia and Alzheimer’s is that up until now, there hasn’t been a cure.
Sure, a range of medications like anti-psychotics can be prescribed, but these offer nothing more than a Band-Aid effect that simply masks the symptoms instead of healing the root cause of the issue. Additionally, many of these psychopharmaceuticals that are so readily handed out by physicians across the country are accompanied by severe health risks when used for a prolonged period of time.
Life has a funny way of showing us that in every negative there is a positive and vice versa- that is the law of balance. And amidst all the heartbreak and suffering that dementia has caused to millions of families, as medicine and science evolve it is starting to look like a solution is in sight and it comes in the form of CBD oil.
Cbd Oil To Treat Dementia
CBD oil is the hot topic of the moment in the media all around the world. At least one person you know is probably currently using CBD to treat whichever condition they are suffering from, and the best thing is that to date, the success stories are rife.
As more people are becoming enlightened to the adverse side effects of using traditional medicines to treat dementia, alternative medicines are being trialed and tested in a bid to discover some relief.All signs are pointing to the fact that CBD could be the holy grail of treatments when it comes to this degenerative brain disease.
Due to outstanding research, CBD oil cannot currently be classified as a medication. That said, it has been legalized in nearly every state within America as a natural healing remedy as existing research has proven that it will not do any harm and that it can help to slow down memory loss. We will look at what the science says further on in this article, but for now, let’s take a look at how it can help patients who have dementia.
Is CBD Safe To Use For Senior Citizens With Dementia?
Cannabis oil has been used as an alternative medicine since it was first discovered thousands of years ago as it is thought to be able to treat a vast range of different ailments. Up until very recently, cannabis was an illegal classified substance to possess or use because it contains THC, which is the component of the plant that causes psychoactive effects.
However, the past five years have been witness to more and more states coming around to the fact that this illicit plant does, in fact, have medicinal benefits, and it is now being slowly legalized in several destinations around the country. More specifically, the therapeutic benefits of the cannabinoids (CBD) in the cannabis plant are being recognized and advocated, due to the fact that it does not generate any mind-altering effects whatsoever.As interest in CBD oil picks up speed, more research into its precise health benefits is being performed, and so far, it is all exceptionally positive.
CBD has been scientifically proven to help ease the symptoms of anxiety, insomnia, and panic, which are all well-known colleagues of dementia and this is exactly why more people every day are adding CBD to their daily diets as it is entirely safe to use amongst adults and children alike.
How CBD Can Benefit Dementia Patients
While not classified as a medicine, CBD has been praised for its ability to provide dementia patients with significant relief that allows them to better cope with their symptoms and here’s how:
When the brain is starved, it cannot function properly and leads to feelings of anxiety, memory loss, and general aggravation and irritability. Imagine that you are already in the clutches of dementia and you can’t find peace via being able to sleep for a few hours yet sleeping tablets leave you feeling groggy, thirsty and even more out of it than you do already. This is where CBD oil can really help, as it is excellent for inducing feelings of relaxation and combatting insomnia.
Falling asleep is one thing but being able to stay asleep and wake up feeling rested and clearer headed is something that makes CBD an invaluable tool when trying to manage the symptoms of dementia.
Existing studies have determined that CBD is capable of combatting anxiety, which is another major problem that accompanies dementia. A sense of inner peace is invaluable, and care workers who deal with Alzheimer’s patients on a daily basis have testified to having noticed a positive improvement with regards to the massive reduction in frustration and angry outbursts.
CBD has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which is why it is most commonly used to treat joint problems like arthritis. Mobility (or lack of) is also a major concern amongst dementia patients as the physical pain makes the emotional turmoil they have to live with even worse.
Many caregivers have said that one of their primary worries about dementia patients is that they could lose their balance and fall, causing serious injury and more often than not, they are unable to voice their need for assistance. Administering a daily dose of CBD to your loved one could help them to experience less discomfort along with increased mobility.
Enhanced Focus And Clarity
Those who can relate to the effects of dementia will concur that in the advanced stages of the illness, time with your actual loved one becomes more fleeting. What I mean is that the people we know and love so dearly only seem to be present for limited amounts of time, everything else is just a reflection of the illness taking over their body and mind.
CBD oil does not solely have to be used as a relaxant; it is also becoming popular amongst working professionals who find it enhances their focus, boosts energy and provides them with better mental clarity during the day.
A positive mindset is key to overcoming any challenge in life, especially when you have just been diagnosed with a progressive illness like dementia. Many individuals who suffer from negative thoughts or depression have reported that using CBD oil each day has allowed them to experience a brighter outlook on life and it has yielded them with a more positive way to tackle their challenges. Depression often goes hand in hand with dementia, so any supplement that can help improve the mindset will be incredibly beneficial.
Have you ever felt so overwhelmed or consumed by daily life that you notice you have forgotten to eat lunch or anything at all during the day? That is pretty much a daily reality for almost all patients suffering from dementia. As more pharmaceutical medications are prescribed, their appetites fade away, and as their cognitive abilities worsen, they simply don’t think about necessary routine tasks like bathing and eating. CBD oil can be used to stimulate appetite, making it another appealing choice for treating the symptoms of dementia.
Now that we have been over some of the ways that CBD can positively impact the lives of dementia patients, let’s take a look at what science says about CBD for treating the disease.
CBD and Dementia: What Does Science Say?
We mentioned earlier in this article that research on CBD for medicinal use is lacking, but it isn’t non-existent. Many studies that have been performed to date have delivered very positive results.
CBD has proven itself to be able to reduce inflammation, the buildup of oxygen, and deterioration of cells in the brain. When you consider that inflammation is the primary culprit that causes dementia to evolve so aggressively, an anti-inflammatory agent like CBD seems to make perfect sense.
When too much oxygen is released into the brain cells it impairs necessary functions such as memory function, and it is caused by inflammation; this is exactly why CBD is such a big contender for eventually offering a cure for the disease. If CBD continuously works to eradicate inflammation within the body, then this excess build-up of oxygen could be eliminated, memory loss could be prevented, and thus the progression of the disease would eventually slow to a halt.
Another study and perhaps the most well known was carried out at the University of Bonn back in 2017. It looked at how THC improved memory loss and cognitive ability in mice and produced astonishingly successful results. Advocates believe that even with very low quantities of THC present, CBD oil would likely have similar long-term effects.
Finally, a study from the Salk Institute in California was published in 2017, and it revealed that both CBD and THC were capable of removing harmful proteins in the brain that are known to cause dementia. The research team administered a minor dose of synthetic cannabinoids, and the results showed that the toxic plaque build-up on the walls of the brain cells due to these proteins was entirely broken down and removed by the end of the experiment
Dementia is a long and very lonely road to travel, and it is a fear that plagues the hearts and minds of many individuals worldwide. The ever-present symptoms of this terrible disease eventually lead to the loss of memory and a negative impact on a person’s mood. The simplest of tasks like brushing your teeth or taking a shower become completely insignificant as you become swept away by the illness and there seems to be no relief no matter what you try.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel thanks to the discovery and introduction of CBD oil into the mainstream media, and there is certainly an increased demand for more clinical trials that examine the efficacy of the isolated cannabinoid compound to be studied, rather than the marijuana plant as a whole.
The aforementioned study focusing on CBD’s ability to remove harmful proteins in the brain is perhaps the most positive discovery and it is one that many scientists and medical researchers are keen to see more research carried out on as it could potentially hold the key to a massive breakthrough with regards to finding an actual cure for Alzheimer’s disease and there is a growing frustration within the industry about the speed at which research on the medicinal benefits is being performed.
Unfortunately, there is no government funding currently in place to further investigate how CBD can positively impact dementia, making it a seemingly never-ending waiting game. That said, as the saying goes; “all good things come to those who wait,” and we are hopeful that the coming years will be a turning point for the use of CBD products as a medicine to successfully treat and cure dementia.