Lewy Body Dementia And CBD Oil

Learn about CBD oil, vapor and pills as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Cannabis will be used to treat dementia patients in the first major trial in the U.K. Can CBD oil help with dementia symptoms and its downstream side effects? Branded Voices features content from our marketing partners. Articles are not created by Native News Online staff and do not reflect the views and opinions expressed in the Branded Voices are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Native News Online or its ownership. Any content provided by our bloggers or authors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual or anyone or anything.

Using CBD (Cannabidiol) to Treat the Symptoms of Alzheimer’s & Other Dementias

CBD (aka Cannabidiol) is a compound derived from the Cannabis plant that has positive medicinal effects but does not make people feel “high” or anxious. CBD, in various forms, is legal in 48 US States. The states where it remains illegal are Idaho, and South Dakota, though in SD it will be legal beginning in July 2021. For much more on legality, see below.

CBD should not be confused with Marijuana or the THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) compound which is known for generating a “high” with users. CBD is derived from Cannabis plants, similar to how caffeine is derived from the coffee bean, or aspirin from the bark of a Willow tree. CBD oil is the most common form of administration of the compound, with the oil contained in a gel cap or dropper bottle.

Another chemical in cannabis plants that shows medical benefits similar to CBD is called cannabigerol, or CBG. CBG comes from young marijuana plants and, like CBD, does not get users high. CBG may be useful for treating a specific type of dementia called Huntington’s disease. For more, see below.

CBD Health Benefits for Dementia

The dementia-related conditions that can be helped by CBD include: Alzheimer’s disease, Vascular Dementia, Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), Parkinson’s disease, Frontotemporal dementia and Huntington’s disease.

According to researchers at California’s Salk Institute, their 2016 study found evidence that cannabinoids such as CBD could help remove dementia from, and increase connections between, brain cells. Those results were validated by other laboratories. While the US Food and Drug Administration has yet to approve a CBD drug for the purposes of treating dementia, it has approved a CBD-based drug called Epidiolex for treating epilepsy.

There are several ways CBD can work to improve health outcomes for persons with dementia: by reducing inflammation, by reducing oxygen buildup, by working as a brain stimulant and neuroprotectant, and by eliminating dead brain cells and the protein tangles that are believed to cause brain ailments including dementia. From a user’s perspective, CBD may improve movement while reducing stress and anxiety in the individual with dementia, as well as reduce the decline of memory and other brain functions.

It should be noted that controversy surrounds CBD and the claims companies have made as to its positive effects. The FDA warns that CBD can cause liver injury (as shown in some animal experiments with super high doses) and affect metabolism of other drugs. The agency also says that long-term side effects remain unknown because it has not been studied for a long enough period of time. In actions that are politically based instead of scientifically, the FDA has not approved the use of CBD.

Alzheimer’s Disease

The topic of CBD health benefits continues to grow with new CBD and Alzheimer’s research. In recent studies, CBD has been shown to reduce or remove the impact of inflammation, oxygen buildup and brain cell decline. CBD also increases levels of proteins that eliminate dead cells and plaques in brains with Alzheimer’s, improving both memory and motor function.

When the brain’s immune cells fail to clear blockages associated with Alzheimer’s disease, the result is an inflammatory response. When inflammation happens in the brain, oxygen is released as a result. The greater the inflammation, the greater the negative impact. Important brain functions such as memory are decreased as more oxygen is released in the brain’s cells. Memory loss and other brain deterioration indirectly leads to increased oxygen in the brain. CBD is an antioxidant, which helps reduce the problems associated with oxygen stress. Brain functions negatively impacted by oxygen stress can be improved by using CBD.

Alzheimer’s patients’ brain cells often show a path of rapid decline and destruction. The potential of stimulating brain tissue was recently discovered as a potential benefit of CBD. In clinical trials, CBD has shown the ability to reverse and even prevent the development of Alzheimer’s negative impact. A 2011 study by Australian researchers Tim Karl and Carl Group found that CBD promotes the growth and development of brain cells, reducing the decline of memory and other brain functions.

More recently, in a study researchers were able to increase levels of proteins in the brain (called IL-33 and TREM2) that maintain cognitive functions by eliminating dead cells and helping clear beta-amyloid plaque tangles associated with the disease. After CBD was regularly injected into mice afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease, scientists noticed major improvements in their ability to think. Specifically, the mice could better tell the difference between old objects and new ones. The mice’s movement improved, as well. People with Alzheimer’s often develop stiffness that affects their ability to walk, and mice with these same symptoms will continuously walk in a tight circle. After CBD treatments, that behavior stopped.

Vascular Dementia

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.

Dementia with Lewy Bodies

Lewy body dementia (LBD) is a disease associated with abnormal deposits of a protein called alpha-synuclein in the brain. These deposits, called Lewy bodies, affect chemicals in the brain whose changes, in turn, can lead to problems with thinking, sleeping, movement, behavior, and mood. Unlike most pain, anxiety or behavior management drugs, CBD does not block acetylcholine, the main chemical that LBD attacks. Research has shown that CBD can be an effective anti-inflammatory agent, reduce motor symptoms (tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia) and maintain circadian (sleep) rhythms.

Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s is a chronic progressive disease of the nervous system chiefly affecting middle-aged and elderly people. Parkinson’s is linked to decreased dopamine production and marked by tremor, muscular rigidity, and slow, imprecise movement. Digestive imbalance may also play a role in the progression of Parkinson’s and the severity of symptoms. Cannabinoids such as CBD have been shown to contain effective brain protectors, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties which can be beneficial for managing Parkinson’s disease. Read more about Parkinson’s and CBD.

Frontotemporal Dementia / Pick’s Disease

Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) or frontotemporal degenerations refers to a group of disorders caused by progressive nerve cell loss in the brain’s frontal lobes (the areas behind one’s forehead) or its temporal lobes (the regions behind one’s ears) that leads to symptoms of depression and psychosis. Unlike most antipsychotic drugs, CBD does not lead to an increased risk of death. Research has shown that CBD can be an effective anti-inflammatory agent, reduce anxiety, reduce motor symptoms (tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia) and maintain circadian (sleep) rhythms.

Huntington’s Disease

Huntington’s disease (HD), also known as Huntington’s chorea, is an inherited disorder that results in death of brain cells. The earliest symptoms are often subtle problems with mood or mental abilities. A general lack of coordination and an unsteady gait often follow. According to 2016 research from the University of Madrid, due to CBD’s effectiveness as antioxidants and its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD can be beneficial for managing Huntington’s disease. Experiments with mice have shown that another chemical called cannabigerol, or CBG, in marijuana plants can help maintain brain health for people with Huntington’s (see next section).

What is CBG? (CBG vs. CBD)

Another cannabinoid (compound in cannabis) that has shown health benefits is cannabigerol, also known as CBG. Often taken as an oil, like CBD, CBG is rarer than CBD and THC because there is much less of it in a plant. Whereas cannabis strains usually contain about 25% THC and 20% CBD, the compound CBG makes up only about 1% of most plants. CBG can, however, be extracted at higher volumes if the plants are harvested at the right age, meaning younger. CBG turns into CBD and THC as the plant gets older.

CBG binds to cannabinoid receptors in the body, strengthening neurotransmitters (brain cells) that specifically function to do things like motivate us and regulate our appetites and sleeping patterns. Studies have even shown that CBG protects nerve cells in the brain.

Unfortunately, those studies were done on the brains of mice, not humans (specifically, mice with an experimental model of Huntington’s disease). There are actually fewer studies on CGB in humans than the other cannabinoids, so while there is a strong case to be made that CGB works as a neuroprotectant that preserves nerve cells in the brain, the evidence is slimmer.

Like CBD, CGB is non-psychotropic and won’t get you high. A key difference between CBD and CBG is that CBG is harder to extract and therefore more expensive.

Risks & Side Effects

The World Health Organization (WHO) stated that “no public health problems… have been associated with the use of pure CBD,” and there has been no known association with potential for dependence or abuse, unlike most pharma alternatives. The most commonly reported potential side effects of CBD usage were diarrhea and bloating, with some also reporting nausea. About 3% of patients in studies reported liver problems and had to discontinue CBD use. Specifically, in dementia, some patients reported increased tremor with high doses of CBD. As with any new treatment, patients and caregivers should monitor effects and outcomes closely.

Full-Spectrum vs. Isolated CBD
CBD comes in either “full-spectrum” or “isolated” form. The difference is that full-spectrum includes other compounds besides just CBD: cannabinoids (THC and others), terpenes (plant chemicals), and flavonoids (natural plant antioxidants). CBD isolate has been processed into a powder without those natural chemicals. Full-spectrum has more health benefits than isolate.

Misperceptions & Myths

1) CBD is non-psychoactive and medicinal while THC is recreational, not medicinal
CBD (cannabidiol) has been shown to have antipsychotic and anti-anxiety effects in humans. This does not mean it is non-psychoactive, but rather that the psychoactive effects are often beneficial and non-intoxicating vs. the “high” feelings of the THC (aka Tetrahydrocannabinol) compound. THC has also shown medicinal benefits for patients, particularly those suffering from pain or inflammation, especially when combined with CBD for consumption by patients.

2) CBD is a sedative and reduces awareness or alertness
Even in high doses (600mg), CBD has not produced sedating effects in healthy humans. CBD usually makes humans feel more awake and alert without negative impact on sleeping patterns. What is more likely happening is that cannabis strains being used by a patient that have high levels of CBD also contain a potentially sedating natural oil (terpene) such as myrcene.

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3) All CBD sources are the same
There are multiple sources of CBD such as hemp, medical cannabis and isolate. Hemp-based CBD is plagued by mislabeling and recent studies have found that only 31% of 84 tested hemp-based CBD products were accurately labeled. Medical, locally sourced cannabis has consistently produced the best CBD source as it is held to stricter laboratory testing for potency and contaminants. If you’re ordering CBD online, know that mislabeling is common, and look for products that have been third-party tested, meaning independent testing has shown the stated percentages are correct.

4) CBD is legal in all 50 States
Despite CBD being sold in health food stores, tobacco shops, on Amazon, etc., and legalization by many US States, the Federal government has not legalized CBD-rich medical cannabis. Hemp-based CBD (with less than 0.3% THC) would not technically have this restriction because it is legal at the state and federal level everywhere except for South Dakota and Idaho. In these two states, CBD is only legal with zero THC. Medical-based CBD has been legalized in more than 30 states and is recreationally legal in a growing number of US locations.

Avoid CBD Scams! Legitimate CBD products will be precisely labeled with information including:
– Amount of active CBD per serving
– Other ingredients
– Manufacturer name
– Suggested use
– Lab testing results
Every batch of CBD should be tested before it’s put into stores to sell.

Forms of CBD Administration

CBD comes in many forms. They range in variety from being consumed orally, inhaled or absorbed into the skin. The most popular are:
-Vaporizer “pen”
-Gel caps
-Gummies
-Oil (either to go on the skin or under the tongue)
-Patches (like Band-Aids)

Vape Pen Danger – CBD oil in vape pens sometimes contains a solvent called “propylene glycol,” which degrades when burned at high temperatures and can have serious side effects. Look for “solvent free” CBD vape pens.

Forms of CBD Administration
Form Time Until Effects Are Felt Duration of Effects
Oral: via Pill or Liquid Drops 15-90 minutes 4 hours
Skin: via Oil or Patches (like Band-Aids) 15-120 minutes 5 hours
Inhaled: via Vaporizer 2-3 minutes 1 to 2 hours

Legal Status of CBD in the U.S. (as of May 2022)

CBD is widely available and can be found anywhere from local health food stores and tobacco shops to online retailers like Amazon; making it unclear as to its legality. In 2018, the U.S. legalized CBD through the Farm Bill. That gave a national legal standard with guidelines dictating it contains less than 0.3% THC and made from hemp (not marijuana). Because of differences between state and federal laws, each state can have their own requirements on its legality.

In spite of the diverse legal status in different states, CBD can be purchased online and delivered legally to all 50 states.

A table below breaks down the different requirements by state (as of May 2022) to CDB’s legality.

Legality of CBD by State (Updated May 2022)
Conditions of Legality States in which these Conditions Apply
CBD and medical cannabis is legally available to all adult users (21+) Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.
CBD and medical cannabis is legally available by prescription only Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
CBD with limited THC content (less than 0.3%) and made from hemp is legally available Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nebraska, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
CBD with zero THC and made from hemp is legally available South Dakota and Idaho.

CBD can also be used legally in most states by residents of assisted living and memory care communities. Read more.

FDA Approval Under Consideration

Not giving CBD federal approval made lawmakers write a bill that would force the FDA to do so. Introduced in early 2021, H.R.841 would make hemp and its byproducts legal and labeled as a dietary supplement under the FDA’s protection and jurisdiction.

This potential law is important for two major reasons. First, FDA approval is the key to making it more accessible to patients in all states and all care facilities. In addition, this leads to potentially being covered by insurance as Medicare and Medicaid have set precedence that they normally approve coverage for all FDA approved medicines.

At this point, it is unknown if this Bill will make a difference. H.R.841 has a long time before it will be signed into law; it is estimated at two years before the FDA is forced to decide on CBD’s legality.

Obtaining CBD

The most common means to obtain CBD rich medical marijuana is from a state licensed dispensary. These dispensaries can be found by searching on any number of dispensary directories (Leafly, Yelp, etc.) or Google Maps.

For those that have trouble with transportation, another increasingly available option would include delivery-based options. However, while convenient for senior patients, these options are not available in every city or town.

Finally, CBD can be legally purchased over the Internet and delivered to all 50 states. One reputable seller is CBDPure. One can visit their website here.

Dosage Information

Given the lack of regulation in the CBD marketplace and given the challenges of self-reporting of the benefits with persons with dementia, getting the CBD dosage correct is especially challenging. Even though no prescription is required to purchase CBD, many doctors are still knowledgeable about the product and can provide dosage recommendations. Furthermore, given many persons with dementia take multiple medications, it is worth researching drug-drug interactions when considering CBD. CBD dosage consultations can be arranged online with a doctor for about $60. This is a preferable approach to proceeding without professional medical input. However, it is unlikely one’s insurance would pay for these online dosage consultations.

Should one proceed in testing CBD’s impact on a loved one’s dementia, it’s best to start with the gel cap form of administration as the levels of CBD are consistent (when compared to a dropper) and the act of swallowing a pill is familiar. A further benefit is the once-daily scheduling. While many of CBD’s hypothetical benefits cannot be easily observed, loved ones should pay careful attention to behavior changes. People with dementia who appear calmer or experience less severe sundowning symptoms may be benefitting from CBD. Another area in which CBD’s impact may be observed is in reducing sleeplessness.

Finding the Right Dose

It’s a good idea to start small and slowly increase the dosage. Begin with between 1 and 2 milligrams per day for one week, and increase by 2 to 3 milligrams weekly until you notice improvements in symptoms. Base the dosage on body weight: go smaller if your loved one is particularly light, and give a slightly larger dose for a heavier person. A normal dose for an average adult is around 5 milligrams. You may not want to exceed that number. Again, consult a doctor as you would with any other new supplement or medication.

Insurance Coverage of CBD

At this early stage of development, there are few options covered by insurance. The Food and Drug Administration would need to sign off, and as of now there is only one CBD drug (Epidiolex, for epilepsy) with FDA approval. New legislation is in congress that would force the FDA’s approval. However, currently, when compared to the prices of alternative pharmaceuticals, patients and caregivers may still find that CBD-based medical marijuana is a more cost effective and safer option.

Medicare’s Policy

Does Medicare cover CBD? Because of the federal prohibitions on prescribing Schedule 1 substances, there is no Medicare coverage for the purchase of medical marijuana or CBD derivatives. Any out-of-pocket costs one would incur purchasing marijuana for medical use will not count toward any deductibles under Part B or a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. If congress will pass H.R.841 that will force the FDA to decide on CBD. In that case, coverage could potentially change to include it.

Medicaid Policy

Medicinal cannabis is not covered by Medicaid, private plans, group plans, the Veterans Administration (VA) or Obamacare plans. Again, when FDA approval happens there could be coverage of CDB.

CBD Oil for Alzheimer’s & Dementia: How to Use & Dosage

Hemp and CBD oil were federally legalized with the 2018 Farm Bill, but scientists have been researching cannabidiol and its potential benefits for many years prior to the cannabis boom.

CBD products are gaining popularity at a rapid pace, mainly due to the number of conditions potentially alleviated by this compound.

Researchers are discovering new symptoms that CBD may be able to treat or help with in some way — from anxiety to inflammation and neurodegenerative diseases like dementia. CBD may provide relief to thousands of people across the country.

In this article, I’ll dive specifically into the potential application of CBD for dementia and the collateral damage it does to individuals suffering from this disease.

I want to explain the ins and outs of using CBD oil, how it can interact with dementia, and guide you through the brands that currently offer the best CBD products on the market.

Best CBD Oils for Dementia

Not all CBD is made equal. In fact, there’s a large degree of difference when it comes to the quality of ingredients in different CBD oils.

If you’re using this supplement for dementia, it’s important to find something clean and as high quality as possible — preferably in a higher potency.

Here are my top 4 recommended products that meet those requirements:

1. Royal CBD

Get 15% off all Royal CBD products. Use code “CFAH” at checkout.

  • Royal CBD uses organic hemp from local farmers
  • The company makes its products with supercritical CO2 extraction
  • Available as full-spectrum CBD and isolate
  • Four potency strengths to choose from: 250mg, 500mg, 1000mg, and 2500mg
  • The oil is potent — it contains up to 83.3 mg of CBD in each mL
  • Suspended in premium MCT oil for better taste and improved absorption
  • Every batch of product has been tested for potency and purity in a 3rd-party laboratory
  • The 2500 mg oil is available only in the unflavored option
  • Royal CBD products are slightly more expensive than the competition given the quality of ingredients this company uses
My Thoughts on Royal CBD:

Royal CBD is a rising star of premium CBD oils — offering high-quality products made from organically-grown American hemp. The oil contains the full spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes, providing the synergy from these compounds and contributing to the higher efficacy of CBD.

Aside from extracting its oil with pressurized CO2, Royal CBD sends each batch of products to independent laboratories for testing. This is used to confirm the potency and purity of every bottle sold.

The oil offers 250 mg to 2500 mg of full-spectrum CBD per bottle, suiting both novice consumers and experienced users or those with more severe symptoms.

I like how this product tastes. Because it’s suspended in high-quality MCT oil, it doesn’t leave that bitter, earthy aftertaste on the tongue. The flavor is masked by nutty rather than earthy notes.

But if you prefer other forms of administration, Royal CBD offers convenient soft gel capsules (25 mg of CBD per piece) and isolate-based gummies (10 mg of CBD per count). These forms may not have the fastest onset but are easier to dose and take on the go.

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2. Gold Bee

  • Unique product selection
  • Gold Bee uses non-GMO, Colorado-grown hemp
  • The oil contains full-spectrum CBD
  • The company’s products are extracted with CO2
  • You’re getting up to 2400 mg of CBD per bottle
  • The oil is sweetened with organic honey
  • Third-party lab tested for potency and purity
  • No low-strength oils
  • Not available in-store
My Thoughts On Gold Bee:

This company is a true individual among other CBD brands. For Gold Bee, honey is the name of the game. Coming from the superfoods industry, Gold Bee’s founders have decided to combine two ancient therapeutic ingredients: cannabinoids from organic hemp and honey sourced in Brazillian rainforests. Gold Bee offers full-spectrum CBD oil (sweetened with honey), high-potency capsules, gummies, and delicious honey sticks. All products are non-GMO, vegan, and 3rd-party tested for potency and purity.

The Gold Bee CBD oil comes in two concentrations, packing 1200 mg or 2400 mg of CBD per bottle. A single serving of this oil contains 40 mg of full-spectrum CBD for the 1200 mg bottle. This means you’re getting the synergistic effects provided by cannabinoids, terpenes, and other natural compounds found in hemp. Surprisingly for a whole-plant extract, this product has a subtle flavor thanks to the infusion in MCT oil. As a result, the oil is also more available for the body to process. There are also two flavored versions available (kiwi, and lychee); it contains natural flavorings and is sweetened with honey, doing a great job at masking the earthy taste of natural CBD oil.

For me, this product is definitely a go-to mood booster and anxiety reliever. While it’s not the most potent CBD oil out there, it can easily compete with stronger products that are often priced higher.

3. CBDPure

  • CBDPure’s products are sourced from organic hemp grown in Colorado
  • The company uses CO2 extraction in all their products
  • The oil is sold in larger bottles than the competition (60 mL)
  • These products are made with full-spectrum hemp extract
  • The entire product lineup has been tested in an independent laboratory for quality assurance
  • Narrow product range
  • The oil is less potent than Royal CBD
  • No isolates available
My Thoughts on CBDPure:

If you don’t know where to start and need plenty of information about each stage of the CBD oil manufacturing stage, CBDPure is one of the best brands you can choose. This company is very transparent and uses organic hemp in every product they offer.

Similar to Royal CBD, CBDPure prefers to keep things simple, offering two types of products — oil drops and capsules.

Their CBD oil comes in 60 mL bottles but is slightly less potent than Royal CBD, so you may choose this option if you benefit from lower doses, which isn’t common for people with dementia symptoms.

If you want a product that will give you more CBD and offer consistent dosing, you may go for CBDPure softgels. Each capsule comes with 25 mg of full-spectrum cannabidiol.

4. CBDistillery

  • CBDistillery uses Colorado-grown hemp
  • The company’s products are available as ‘full-spectrum’ or ‘pure oil’ (zero THC)
  • Broad product selection
  • The oil is very potent — up to 5,000 mg of CBD per bottle
  • CBDistillery sends samples of their CBD oil to a third-party laboratory for thorough content analysis
  • It’s one of the most affordable brands on the market
  • Their hemp isn’t organic
  • The CBD oil is available only in the unflavored version
My Thoughts on CBDistillery:

CBDistillery is a Colorado-based brand with a diverse product selection. Out of all their products, my favorite is their full-spectrum CBD oil. Interestingly, this product is also available as pure oil, with no THC inside.

The oil comes in a wide potency range, from 250 to 5,000 mg of total CBD. The company caters to different types of CBD consumers and budgets.

Their oil may not be as high quality as Royal CBD or CBDPure — it’s not made from organic hemp — but this is well justified by the cost of their products. CBDistillery doesn’t sell the best CBD oil out there, but that’s definitely the best CBD oil in this price range.

On top of making affordable CBD products, CBDistillery is known for its influence on raising awareness about the health benefits of cannabis. They have created the #CBDMOVEMENT hashtag to provide education for customers in their social media.

What is Dementia?

Dementia is not a disease, per se. Instead, it’s a group of conditions that impair the functioning of your brain.

Generally, dementia is characterized by the deterioration of at least two important brain functions, such as weakened judgment and memory loss. As a matter of fact, any form of dementia can compromise cognitive functioning.

As with every health condition, there are certain symptoms that can help diagnose dementia, namely:

  • Impairment of motor functions and coordination
  • Memory loss usually noticed first by a close family member
  • Personality changes
  • Difficulty with problem-solving or reasoning
  • Anxiety, agitation, depression, or paranoia
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations and awkward behavior
  • Problems handling complex tasks

Is Dementia the Same as Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, so dementia is just a category that Alzheimer’s Disease belongs to. Yet, there are other forms of dementia besides Alzheimer’s.

Dementia can be categorized into four different forms of dementia:

  1. Frontotemporal dementia: the type where the nerve cells in the temporal and frontal lobes of the brain degenerate. Frontotemporal dementia affects the parts of the brain that control behavior, language, and personality
  2. Lewy Body Dementia: the most common type of progressive dementia, Lewy Body Dementia occurs when abnormal clumps of protein start to form in the brain.
  3. Vascular Dementia: it’s the second most prevalent form of dementia. It’s caused by the damage in the blood vessels that limits direct blood supply to the brain and may lead to blood vessel clogs or stroke.
  4. Mixed dementia: it typically involves some combination of Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia. While Alzheimer’s may strike those over the age of 65, mixed dementia occurs upon further progression.

What Are the Benefits of CBD for Dementia?

CBD has been proposed by scientists as a natural alternative for many serious conditions including memory loss conditions, anxieties, and sleep disorders.

CBD is a potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotectant, so it may greatly improve brain functioning, which is essential in slowing and halting the progression of neurodegenerative diseases.

Below I explain how CBD oil could improve different forms of dementia based on the latest scientific findings.

1. Alzheimer’s Disease

Research shows a clear link between CBD and the reduction of inflammation and brain cell decline.

Inflammation increases the negative impact of Alzheimer’s disease. It’s a core cause of this condition. The more inflamed the brain, the greater the damage.

Alzheimer’s sufferers often show a path of rapid decline and degeneration of brain cells in certain regions. Scientists have recently found that CBD has the potential of improving the plasticity of the hippocampal region — the part of the brain responsible for cognitive functioning and forming memories.

In clinical trials, researchers have found that the endocannabinoid system is involved in neurotransmission, neuropathology, and neurobiology of different forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s Disease.

2. Vascular Dementia

As mentioned, people who have vascular dementia typically encounter problems with planning, reasoning, memory, judgment, and other thought processes due to brain damage from reduced blood flow to their brains.

A 2016 study conducted by the National Institute of Health (NIH) found that activating cannabinoid receptors in the brain promoted the recovery of blood flow to the brain.

3. Parkinson’s Disease Dementia

Parkinson’s is a progressive neurodegenerative disease mainly affecting middle-aged and elderly people. Some symptoms of dementia may be the result of Parkinson’s disease — referred to as Parkinson’s disease dementia.

Scientists suggest that Parkinson’s disease may derive from lowered dopamine production and is most commonly expressed by muscular strains, tremors, and slow, flawed movement.

A digestive imbalance may also be a significant factor in the progression of Parkinson’s and the seriousness of its symptoms. Cannabinoids such as CBD have been shown to produce neuroprotective and antioxidant effects on the brain which, along with its anti-inflammatory properties, can be effective in managing Parkinson’s disease-induced dementia.

4. Lewy Bodies Dementia

Lewy Bodies is a scientific name for the alpha-synuclein protein deposits in the brain. These buildups can lead to problems with judgment, sleeping, behavior, movement, and mood.

Research has found that CBD may reduce anxiety and stabilize mood. In addition, the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD can reduce the severity of motor symptoms and help with sleep regulation.

5. Frontotemporal Dementia

As the brain loses more cells in its frontal or temporal lobes, this can trigger symptoms of depression and psychosis. Unlike many antipsychotic drugs, CBD may alleviate tremors, anxiety, and rigidity without the side effects associated with prescription drugs.

6. Huntington’s Disease Dementia

Also known as Huntington’s chorea, this disease is an inherited disorder that leads to degeneration of brain cells — which often results in symptoms of dementia.

The earliest symptoms of this condition are often mild and involve problems with mood and concentration. As the disease progresses, a person may suffer from a general lack of coordination and an unsteady gait (walking motion).

A 2016 study conducted by researchers from the University of Madrid discovered that CBD’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties can be beneficial for managing Huntington’s disease and is safe even at very high doses.

What Experts Say About CBD Oil and Dementia

Scientists are going to use a CBD/THC oral spray Sativex to treat dementia patients in the first major trial in the UK. The study is led by researchers at King’s College London and funded by Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Researchers will be investigating the efficacy of Sativex, a drug already approved for patients with multiple sclerosis, by observing 60 patients between the age of 55–90 who are living in care homes for the duration of the trial. The study will aim at easing aggression and agitation, one of the main symptoms of dementia.

Dag Aarsland, a psychiatrist and the professor supervising the trial says:

“Most often, people associate Alzheimer’s disease with memory problems, but this is just one aspect of a complex condition that can affect people in different ways. Many people with Alzheimer’s can become agitated or aggressive, and this can pose difficulties for the person with the condition and those closest to them.”

If full-spectrum extracts prove effective as a dementia treatment, this can be a breakthrough for modern medicine considering that scientists have been struggling to come up with effective solutions for almost two decades.

“With no new dementia treatments in over 15 years, it is vital that we test a wide range of approaches to find effective ways to help people living with the condition,” said David Reynolds, Ph.D., of Alzheimer’s Research U.K. Reynolds underlines the importance of finding a medicine that will not only slow or stop the progression of dementia but also benefits people’s day-to-day performance.

“Based on some preliminary studies in other populations, like younger individuals with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, as well as animal studies, there is at least some reason to theorize these drugs would have a benefit,” follows Dr. Nathan Herrmann, head of geriatric psychiatry department at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Canada, showing support for his colleagues in the UK.

Sativex has equal amounts of THC and CBD. Hemp-derived CBD oil contains only 0.3% THC and there are no trials that would look into the effects of this cannabis solution on dementia.

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What’s the Best CBD Oil Dosage for Dementia?

There are no definite dosage guidelines when it comes to using CBD oil for dementia. However, various studies have been performed on the efficacy of different CBD doses for Alzheimer’s patients.

A study conducted in 2014 found that higher concentrations of CBD may be required until the effects take hold. The study was conducted on transgenic mice.

Given the lack of regulation in the CBD marketplace, the best thing you can do is observe the effects of different dosages and report to a foundation or science institute that specializes in seeking new forms of dementia treatment. With more self-reports from patients, healthcare professionals will be able to come up with some general guidelines for people with dementia in the future.

Where to Buy CBD Oil for Dementia

If you’ve been considering taking hemp-derived CBD oil for dementia, you can buy one in a local cannabis dispensary or search for CBD products online.

I prefer buying CBD oil online. The majority of CBD supplements are sold this way, so you get access to a wider range of products. Cannabis dispensaries have plenty of CBD supplements as well, but they may not carry the best products out there, not to mention that they might have stood on the shelves for a long time after arrival — which is not the best way to store CBD oil.

Buying CBD oil online is also more convenient. You can easily check the reputation of your potential supplier. Always make sure that your manufacturer uses organic hemp, makes its products with CO2 extraction, and posts testing results from 3rd-party laboratory screening.

Finally, online stores are less expensive than dispensaries. Usually, you will pay around twice as much for CBD oil in a local dispensary than you would for a product ordered online.

It’s worth waiting the extra 2-3 days to get exactly what you’ve been looking for without spending an arm and a leg.

Final Thoughts on Using CBD Oil for Dementia

Dementia is a severe neurodegenerative condition. It’s not a disease per se; instead, it’s a set of symptoms that describe a predictable set of symptoms. It can take many forms, from Alzheimer’s Disease to vascular dementia and Lewy Bodies Dementia. Dementia can also result from the progress of other neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s or Huntington’s Disease.

Scientists have been investigating the neuroprotectant properties of CBD and its influence on neurodegeneration for quite some time now. While the evidence isn’t conclusive yet, results from animal studies and preclinical trials indicate that the endocannabinoid system and cannabinoids can be used to prevent neurodegeneration and reverse its impact with consistent administration.

If you’re interested in trying CBD oil for dementia, make sure to contact your doctor first to figure out whether CBD is good for you, especially if you’re already using some medication.

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Nina Julia

Nina created CFAH.org following the birth of her second child. She was a science and math teacher for 6 years prior to becoming a parent — teaching in schools in White Plains, New York and later in Paterson, New Jersey.

Can CBD Help with Dementia?

CBD, which stands for cannabidiol, has become a pretty popular product in recent years. Cannabidiol is just one of the many compounds found in cannabis. While it’s not a miracle drug, there are many benefits that could potentially be had from using the compound according to scientific research. You may have heard about how CBD could help relieve pain and improve your sleep. However, did you know that CBD can help with dementia?

What is Dementia?

Dementia, according to a review called Medical Cannabis for the Treatment of Dementia: A Review of Clinical Effectiveness and Guidelines is simply a set of “symptoms and signs associated with a progressive deterioration of cognitive functions that affects daily activities”. According to the World Alzheimer Report 2018, 50 million people were living with dementia. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. The number of people that will be living with dementia in 2050 was predicted to be 152 million.

Types of Dementia

There are actually multiple types of dementia. Alzheimer’s, the most common form, accounts for two-thirds of all dementia. However, other cases, according to the review are vascular dementia, mixed dementia, Lewy body dementia, frontotemporal dementia, and young-onset dementia.

Signs and Symptoms of Dementia

There are a variety of signs and symptoms associated with the disease, it’s really not just memory loss.

According to the review, signs and symptoms include:

  • difficulties with thinking
  • problem-solving or language
  • changes in mood, perception, personality, or behavior

Neuropsychiatric symptoms, which are common to all forms of dementia include:

  • Agitation
  • Aggression
  • Wandering
  • Apathy
  • Sleep disorders
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Psychosis
  • Eating disorders

Can CBD Help with Dementia?

Although some have posited that CBD reverses dementia, unfortunately, dementia currently has no cure nor can the progression of the disease be altered. However, CBD may help ease some of the uncomfortable signs and symptoms associated with the disease. The review says that the way in which CBD helps dementia is not crystal clear but what they do know is that CBD interacts with the neurotransmitters that are responsible for or involved in the manifestation of neuropsychiatric symptoms.

Alzheimer’s Disease and CBD Treatment

According to Dementia Care Central, fortunately, CBD has been shown to either reduce or remove the impact of inflammation. The inflammation is responsible for a lot of the negative effects of Alzheimer’s. The inflammatory response occurs when the brain’s immune cells are not able to clear disorienting blockages. Oxygen is released and starts building up. According to the article, “Important brain functions such as memory are decreased as more oxygen is released in the brain’s cells. Memory loss and other brain deterioration indirectly leads to increased oxygen in the brain”. CBD acts as an antioxidant and counteracts the effects of oxygen stress on the brain.

A 2011 study by Australian researchers Tim Karl and Carl Group concluded, according to Dementia Care Central, that that CBD promotes the growth and development of brain cells, reducing the decline of memory and other brain functions.

Therefore CBD seems as if it can reduce inflammation, oxygen buildup, and brain cell decline.

CBD for Vascular Dementia

Vascular Dementia is a form of dementia characterized by experiencing thought processes such as reasoning, planning, judgment, memory as a result of brain damage caused by an impairment of blood flow to the brain. CBD may help increase blood flow to the brain. According to Dementia Care Central, “Activating the CB2 receptors with CBD has increased brain cell activity and helped reduce brain cell damage commonly associated with vascular dementia.”

CBD for Lewy Body Dementia

Dementia with Lewy Bodies refers to a disease characterized by an abnormal amount of alpha-synuclein otherwise known as Lewy bodies deposited in the brain. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, these deposits, though microscopic, damage the brain cells. Dementia with Lewy bodies results in a decline in thinking, reasoning and independent function. Fortunately, CBD can be helpful. According to Dementia Care Central, “CBD can be an effective anti-inflammatory agent, reduce motor symptoms (tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia) and maintain circadian (sleep) rhythms”. It was also noted that it doesn’t block acetylcholine which this disease preys on. Acetylcholine is essential for memory and learning. The fact that CBD doesn’t block acetylcholine is great. Traditionally, patients suffering from this disease are given a cholinesterase inhibitor drug which prevents the breakdown of acetylcholine.

CBD for Frontotemporal Dementia / Pick’s Disease

According to Dementia Care Central, Pick’s Disease is a “progressive nerve cell loss in the brain’s frontal lobes (the areas behind one’s forehead) or its temporal lobes (the regions behind one’s ears)”. This disease leads to depression or psychosis and usually requires antipsychotic drugs for treatment. Unfortunately, antipsychotic drugs may increase the risk of death. On the bright side, CBD does not do that and may actually improve your sleep, reduce anxiety, attack inflammation, and reduce motor symptoms such as tremor, rigidity, and bradykinesia.

CBD Dementia Counterclaims & CBD Oil for Dementia

However, not everyone is fully convinced of CBD’s role in treating dementia. According to Alzheimer’s Society, the studies done have been small and low quality and so that makes it harder to come to a conclusion. The article also expresses concern about the concentration of CBD oil for dementia used in the studies and its long term effects. The article said, “these studies have used high concentrations of CBD oil that may not be available to buy. These studies have also been short term so we still don’t know what the long term effects of using CBD oil might be.” That said, it is not certain what is the best CBD dosage for dementia.

As for right now, CBD has been labeled as safe to try. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or

dependence potential….” Just be on the lookout for product mislabelling especially if you have drug tests coming up.

CBD and Dementia Conclusion

CBD to treat dementia appears to be a good addition to the plethora of medication used to treat the varying forms of dementia. Of course, more research is always a good thing and so hopefully scientists continue to research and find out more about how CBD works against dementia.

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