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According to a survey, people have increased the use of marijuana for many medical treatments. Can these herbal medicines treat people with dementia? We dig into what we know and what researchers are still working to discover.
Dementia, which includes Alzheimer’s disease and other related disorders, is a chronic condition affecting thinking, orientation, calculation, learning capacity, and judgment. Severely enough to impair daily life. Over time, dementia limits a person’s ability to function independently.
According to the WHO, Currently, more than 55 million people live with dementia worldwide, and there are nearly 10 million new cases every year, which means approx 1141 cases every hour. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. It may contribute to 60-70% of cases of dementia.
Does Marijuana Help With Dementia?
Research has found improvements in memory, especially with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Low doses of the cannabis component THC can restore memory and learning levels.
“It is reasonable to conclude that there is a therapeutic potential of cannabinoids for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease,” David Schubert, senior researcher and a professor at Salk Institute for Biological.
A recent study also shows that marijuana may help treat vascular dementia, a neurodegenerative disorder that often occurs along with Alzheimer’s. Vascular dementia is characterized by inadequate blood flow to the brain, leading to cell death. By activating the brain’s CB2 cannabinoid receptors through marijuana, it may be possible to recover blood flow to the brain.
Limited data show that patients may use cannabinoids like THC to help control aggressive or agitated symptoms of dementia.
What is THC?
THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects. THC is one of many compounds in the resin secreted by the glands of the marijuana plant. Other compounds, called cannabinoids, are present in this resin. Cannabinoid is nonpsychoactive and blocks the high associated with THC.
How Does THC Works With Cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids are concentrated in some regions of the brain associated with thinking, memory, pleasure, coordination, and time perception. According to NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse), THC attaches to these receptors, activates them, and affects a person’s memory, pleasure, movements, thinking, concentration, and coordination perception.
Should You Try Marijuana As a Dementia Treatment?
If you are considering medical marijuana to manage the symptoms of dementia, consult a licensed healthcare professional first. A physician can help you decide whether to try medical marijuana as a dementia treatment because research is still in progress. They may also be able to help you navigate the various strains and dosage options.
It’s also essential to understand the medical marijuana law in your state. Some states list agitation related to Alzheimer’s disease as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana. On the other hand, some states only approve it for use with Alzheimer’s but not for other conditions that may cause dementia.
Why Are Medical Researchers Studying Marijuana Treatments For People With Dementia And Alzheimer’s Disease?
Dementia takes an emotional toll. Caring for a person with dementia is more expensive and time-consuming for families than other medical conditions common at older ages.
A report by Population Reference Bureau, average out-of-pocket costs for an older patient with dementia are more than 80% higher than for older people without dementia. Medicare covers the surgeries used to treat common conditions but does not cover the cost of supervision and help with living a better life, which is primarily what people with dementia need.
Families spent a larger share of their assets on dementia care than care for other conditions. On average, the economic costs of dementia in the United States totaled an estimated $305 billion in 2020 and are projected to increase to $1.5 trillion by 2050.
Marijuana is a scientifically proven treatment for many medical conditions, including depression, anxiety, and stress. Scientists hope that the neuroprotective properties of marijuana will help people with dementia and Alzheimer’s. It can repair the damage, in addition to treating symptoms.
Marijuana treatment for dementia will make a difference for families with dementia patients.
Takeaway- Marijuana for Dementia
A few clinical trials have identified that cannabis can help manage behavioral symptoms in people with dementia, including aggression and agitation, but only in some cases. More research is needed. If you want to try marijuana for your dementia, you can contact My MMJ Doctor. We would love to help you.
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