Dementia is a crippling condition that affects millions of people around the globe. There’s currently no known cure for the disease, but many wonder whether cannabis can treat dementia more effectively than the pharmaceuticals commonly used to combat the illness.
It’s never been easier to get access to medicinal cannabis and you can now buy weed in Terrace BC here at KJ Cannabis. The early evidence that cannabis may help sounds promising, but the scientific community is still not in agreement on whether cannabis can effectively treat the condition any better than existing medications. Here we delve deep on the current evidence and ask if cannabis can help turn the tide.
Dementia: What Is It and How Does it Form?
The term dementia is an umbrella term for a host of different neurological conditions related to impaired thinking, ineffective communication, and poor memory recall. Dementia tends to affect the older generation, but the medical community still doesn’t consider it a normal aspect of ageing.
Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia worldwide, and much of the scientific literature available on cannabis as a treatment for dementia was carried out on subjects afflicted with Alzheimer’s. People with Alzheimer’s disease experience a breakdown of the all-important brain region known as the hippocampus, an area that’s responsible primarily for memory recall.
One of the key characteristics of Alzheimer’s disease is the continual build-up of amyloid-ß (Aß) plaques and the entanglement of fibres in brain cells known as neurofibrillary tangles. When this occurs, it produces inflammation in the brain and increases the number of damaging free radicals in circulation.
In an effort to protect and combat the issue, the brain releases glutamate. But as levels rise, they can soon become toxic, killing the very neurons responsible for brain signalling.
Cannabis As a Treatment For Dementia
Pharmaceutical medications merely target the removal of plaque build-up in affected patients. But an alternative approach is to control the underlying inflammation and free radical production, and it’s here where cannabis shines.
Using THC To Treat Dementia
There is an increasing amount of scientific literature suggesting that THC may be one of the most useful compounds for treating dementia. The principal advantage is that it tackles the root causes like inflammation, plaque, and neurofibrillary tangles that contribute to the disease.
One study carried out on mice subjects suggested that THC ingestion can slow down the rate of ageing in the brain. The study found that THC can mimic the effects of the endocannabinoids produced naturally by the body. As people age, they tend to produce fewer endocannabinoids, and it’s this that can lead to more rapid ageing within the brain. When they gave THC to ageing mice, scientists examined their brain tissue and the gene activity and found that their brains functioned more similarly to those of younger mice. Scientists also found an increase in the number of links between the nerve cells in the brain, something they associate with an increased ability to learn.
Can CBD Help Treat Dementia?
CBD is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. And when it comes to dementia, studies show that CBD is very effective at quelling the underlying inflammation caused by a build-up of plaque. It can also reduce the presence of plaque itself, and it’s this that can help put a barrier in place against the onset of dementia by making brain cells more resilient to the onset of Alzheimer’s.
CBD also has a striking ability to protect the hippocampus from exposure to toxins and the further deterioration they can induce. It does this by reducing the activation of the support cells known as microglia.
Microglia protect the brain from further damage, but when they are overproduced in too high a quantity, it can often worsen the problem. Scientists established that CBD is most effective in reducing microglia activation when it’s administered during the early onset period of the condition.
CB2 Activation and Dementia
CB2 receptors form a part of the endocannabinoid system and play an essential role in recovering optimal blood flow to the brain when stimulated. Vascular dementia is a form of dementia where patients suffer from a neurological impairment due to poor blood flow in the brain, something that ultimately contributes to the death of cells. Scientists have uncovered that activation of the CB2 receptors can help patients recover blood flow to the brain.
One of the simplest and most effective ways to stimulate the CB2 receptors is by consuming cannabis, and more specifically, THC.
The Counterevidence For Cannabis and Dementia
Increased blood flow in the brain may sound like an effective strategy to counteract the effects of dementia, but this technique also presents its problems.
One thing that worries the scientific community is that blood flow in the brain is commonly found to be restricted among cannabis consumers. Some scientists fear that when blood flow is restricted in the hippocampus that it may leave patients at increased risk of developing dementia.
The counterargument to this finding is that several other factors are responsible for blood flow. Activities such as smoking and a lack of exercise are both contributing factors to impeding blood flow.
The Medical Consensus On Cannabis and Dementia
The scientific community hasn’t yet agreed on whether cannabis is helpful in treating and managing dementia. The existing scientific literature sounds largely promising, but research is still in its infancy and still has a way to go before mainstream acceptance.
After years of strong alliances with the pharmaceutical industry, there is an inbuilt resistance to the adoption of cannabis across much of the medical community. Pharmaceutical interventions provide patients with a form of relief from symptoms, but there is currently no cure for dementia.
In the meantime, the scientific community continues to explore the possibilities for cannabis as an effective treatment for dementia, and time will tell whether its adoption will become more mainstream.
Both THC and CBD show tremendous promise in treating dementia, but there are also numerous other lesser-known minor cannabinoids that offer therapeutic potential. As science begins to understand the deeper workings of the cannabis plant, these minor compounds may well come to play a major role in helping treat debilitating conditions like dementia in a much more effective way than traditional pharmaceuticals, which merely suppress the underlying symptoms.
Buy Weed in Terrace BC
There is such a wide array of conditions treatable with medical marijuana, it is fascinating. You can now buy weed in Terrace, BC at KJ Cannabis to supplement your healing for any number of conditions, including depression.
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