CBD is used by millions of people for a variety of reasons. As more research comes out on the benefits of CBD, more people are trying it, including seniors and caregivers. In the last few years, there has been some promising research to suggest that CBD may help seniors suffering from dementia. Although it is too early in studies to determine if there is evidence that using CBD oil can prevent, stop or reverse dementia, it may be helpful in treating some of the symptoms of dementia.
In a 2019 study by PubMed, researchers found that using CBD oil improved symptoms of dementia, particularly memory loss and behavior issues. If you care for someone with dementia, you understand that issues with memory loss are frustrating for both the person with dementia and their family. The good news is, CBD may help.
How CBD helps with Dementia
Some of the reasons people use CBD oil are to treat health conditions like chronic pain, poor appetite, insomnia, anxiety, and depression. People living with dementia often have all of these symptoms, along with issues with memory. Thus, CBD may be beneficial for seniors living with dementia for the same reasons it’s helpful for others.
CBD oil, however, may also help specifically with some of the neurological and behavioral issues that occur with dementia.
CBD’s calming effect may help people with dementia
Anyone who has cared for a loved one with dementia knows that living with dementia can be stressful. Due to the way dementia affects the brain, people suffering from dementia may become confused, agitated, or anxious from seemingly normal, everyday occurrences. CBD may calm the brain of dementia patients in the same way it helps with general anxiety.
Although we are still researching its potential treatment for dementia, according to a few studies it may reduce agitation and violent outbursts from dementia patients because of its calming properties.
CBD may improve brain health in people living with dementia
In addition, it may actually improve brain functioning because of its anti-inflammatory properties. We believe the loss of brain cells and the memory loss associated with dementia and Alzheimer's may be a result of inflammation in the brain. Researchers believe CBD oil may help with vascular dementia.
Vascular dementia is a term used to describe any problems with memory and reasoning caused by impaired blood flow in the brain. We believe that inflammation reduces the blood flow in areas of the brain that control memory and other cognitive functions.
CBD has been found to lower the levels of a particular protein linked to brain cell damage and death. Scientists have discovered that people with Alzheimer's have a higher level of this particular protein. This toxic protein causes an immune response in the brain, which results in inflammation and brain cell death. Not only does CBD reduce inflammation, but it may reduce the levels of this protein.
CBD and Brain Function
As the progression of dementia takes place, the brain cells and the loss of brain function that is lost is ultimately lost for good. While this decline can vary, it is often rapid and severe. Although CBD can’t cure dementia or stop the progression, it may have properties that help reduce the amount of brain cell loss.
The primary way that CBD helps is due to its anti-inflammatory properties. However, we are still learning about the endocannabinoid system and how cannabinoids work in the body. With thousands of studies being published on CBD each year, we hope to learn more about how CBD helps with brain health and brain cell preservation. At this point, the research on the effects CBD oil has on dementia is limited. There have only been small-scale studies, so further research is needed.
What we know about CBD
What we do know is that CBD is considered safe and well-tolerated. Its anti-inflammatory properties have been well-researched. Yet, we are still learning how and if these properties can improve the lives of people with dementia.
If you are considering using CBD oil to help someone with dementia, always consult a doctor on the potential benefits and discuss any possible medication conflicts. If you are just starting to use CBD, always start with a low dose and gradually increase the dosage to see if symptoms improve.
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