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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

How Cannabis Can Benefit Brain Health and Provide Relief for Alzheimer’s Disease


June marks Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, offering an opportunity to explore the potential benefits of cannabis for brain health.

In our fast-paced world, we prioritize physical hygiene by showering, using skincare products, and maintaining dental care. However, mental hygiene, which is crucial for good brain health, is often overlooked. Taking care of our mental well-being allows us to process and cope with life’s challenges effectively. This article explores how cannabis can contribute to maintaining good brain health and managing symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

About Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a devastating condition that affects the mind. Discovered in 1906 by Dr. Alois Alzheimer, it slowly destroys memory, thinking skills, and the ability to perform basic tasks. It is the most common cause of dementia among older adults, with millions of Americans affected by the disease.

Alzheimer’s usually develops around the age of 60, although it can occur as early as 30 in rare cases. The National Alzheimer’s Association reports that over 6 million Americans of all ages have Alzheimer’s, and this number is expected to rise in the coming years. The disease is caused by abnormal protein buildup in the brain cells and is characterized by symptoms such as memory loss, difficulty problem-solving, and confusion about time and location.

While there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s, ongoing medical advancements offer hope for managing its symptoms. Contrary to past beliefs, cannabis has shown potential in treating conditions such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.

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The Potential of Cannabis for Alzheimer’s Disease

For years, federal cannabis propaganda has portrayed the plant as a hindrance to productivity and motivation, perpetuating misconceptions about cannabis consumers. However, the reality is quite different. The cannabis industry, fueled by activists, supporters, and entrepreneurs, has created a multi-billion-dollar industry that has enabled significant advancements in medical research on cannabinoid therapies.

A small Greek study conducted in 2022 involving 17 people with dementia revealed that using 3% CBD drops improved psychological and behavioral symptoms in around two-thirds of the participants. Similarly, a 2019 systematic review found that a combination of THC and CBD decreased vomiting, irritability, agitation, screaming, and the need for pain medication in dementia patients.

Cannabis and Brain Health

Researchers are still exploring the human body’s intricate systems, such as the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS, distributed throughout mammalian tissues, regulates various functions in the cardiovascular, nervous, and immune systems.

The ECS primarily consists of CB1 and CB2 receptors, with CB1 receptors abundant in specific brain regions like the hippocampus, cerebellum, and basal ganglia. The hippocampus is responsible for memory and learning, the basal ganglia for motor control, behavior, and emotions, and the cerebellum for complex motor functions.

Phytocannabinoids found in cannabis, such as THC, CBD, CBN, and CBG, interact with these receptors, facilitating communication between cells and nerves. This interaction improves brain and body function. Many individuals experience relief from symptoms like nausea, headaches, stress, anxiety, and chronic pain through the use of cannabinoids.

Ashley Priest is a patient, mother, entrepreneur, and activist who is dedicated to ending cannabis prohibition globally. She believes in the power of education to challenge the stigma surrounding cannabis and promote its full potential for the betterment of society.

FAQs

How does Alzheimer’s disease affect the brain?

Alzheimer’s disease slowly destroys memory, thinking skills, and the ability to carry out simple tasks. It causes abnormal protein buildup in and around brain cells, leading to cognitive decline.

Is there a cure for Alzheimer’s disease?

Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. However, medical advancements have led to the development of treatments that can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life.

Can cannabis be used to treat Alzheimer’s disease?

While there is no definitive cure for Alzheimer’s disease, cannabis has shown potential in managing symptoms and providing relief for patients. Studies have suggested that cannabinoids like THC and CBD can help improve psychological and behavioral symptoms experienced by individuals with Alzheimer’s.

What is the endocannabinoid system?

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a network of receptors found throughout the body, including the brain. It plays a role in regulating various physiological functions, such as mood, appetite, pain sensation, and immune response. The ECS is also involved in the interaction between cannabinoids and our bodies.

Are there any side effects of using cannabis for Alzheimer’s disease?

As with any medication or treatment, there can be potential side effects when using cannabis for Alzheimer’s disease. It is essential to consult with a healthcare professional and follow their guidance to ensure safe and effective use.

Dr. Jen Chalmers
Dr. Jen Chalmers
Dr. Jen Chalmers is an accomplished writer and cannabis enthusiast. With a Ph.D. in Botany and years of experience as a researcher, she brings a scientific perspective to her captivating articles on cannabis news, recipes, and the fascinating world of psychedelics.

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