CBD oil and Alzheimer's disease:
What does the research say?
If you have any questions or concerns about benefits of cannabis use in dementia, read on to learn more about this topic.
In vitro evidence
A key feature of Alzheimer’s disease is the accumulation of a toxic protein, called amyloid, around the nerve cells. Recent studies showed that THC - a component of cannabis may remove this protein from neurons in the lab. Another study that gave both THC and CBD to mice with Alzeheimer’s disease also showed improvement in learning capacity and less signs of amyloid clumps. Although the experts have to continue to discover the exact role of THC and CBD in treating dementia, some suggested that CBD oil may reduce inflammation in the brain.
Reduce the symptoms
Besides memory loss, the other common symptoms of dementia are agitation and anxiety and CBD appears to be an useful measure to manage such symptoms due to anxiolytic benefits.
Secondly, an open-label study found that among 11 patients, there was significant improvement in mental state examination score from baseline after 28 days of treatment with cannabis oil containing THC. The initial dose was 2.5 mg twice daily and titrated up to 7.5 mg twice daily.
Currently, a study conducted by King’s College London will look at whether mouth spray containing cannabinoids could reduce aggression in people with Alzheimer’s disease.
Does it prevent dementia?
So far, no studies or trials have looked into the role of CBD to treat underlying causes of Alzheimer’s disease in people. Although experiments in animal models showed promise, there is a lack of strong research studies in people about this issue. Thus, researchers don’t know CBD has positive or negative effects on the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
Some studies indicated that CBD may be beneficial to manage the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, such as anxiety and aggression.
However, there is no research to prove that CBD may prevent or delay the progression and development of this disease in people.