ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE & CANNABIS

ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE & CANNABIS

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive and debilitating beginning with memory loss and progresses to complete loss of mental, emotional, and physical functioning. Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia, as chronic disorder of the mental processes due to progressive brain disease. It is most common in older people, particularly over the age of 80, but occasionally occurs in younger people.

People with Alzheimer’s disease become increasingly forgetful and eventually develop severe memory loss, particularly of recent events. Their ability to concentrate, cope with numbers and verbally communicate declines, and they often become anxious and depressed. Sudden mood swings and personality changes are common, as is socially unacceptable behavior.

With advanced disease, patients are often disoriented, especially at night, and may neglect personal hygiene and become incontinent. Some people become docile and helpless; others are aggressive and difficult to care for.

CAUSES

Many people have a genetic predisposition to Alzheimer’s disease, but most are unlikely to develop the disease unless other factors come into play. Only 15 percent of people with Alzheimer’s disease have a family history of the condition, so the disease in not usually directly inherited.

CHROMOSOME MUTATIONS

The first gene to be linked to Alzheimer’s disease was found on chromosome 21. This chromosome is abnormal in people with Down’s syndrome who, as a group, are at high risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Genes increasing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease have been identified on other chromosomes. The mutation of a single gene causes about 5 percent of Alzheimer’s cases. Three Genes have been identified that, if mutated, can cause severe disease under the age of 65.

Attempts are being made to identify the factors that lead to Alzheimer’s disease in genetically predisposed people.

EFFECTIVENESS OF CANNABIS ON ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE

Cannabis is primarily used to help calm agitated Alzheimer’s patients. It can be used to help them sleep and to increase appetite. Proposed future treatments with cannabinoids may help the actual mechanism and progression of Alzheimer’s disease, by using the anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects of Cannabis and cannabinoids. It’s thought that the cannabinoids in Cannabis (such as THC and CBD) may help slow the buildup of plaques and tangles, or help in reducing the inflammatory response to their buildup.

Inflammation and Alzheimer’s Disease

Inflammation plays a huge part in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. By targeting the body’s own endocannabinoid system, this may offer the potential to stimulate neuroprotective structures while dampening neuro-Inflammation caused by the buildup of amyloid proteins in the brain.

Ways to Ingest Cannabis for Alzheimer’s Disease

There best method of ingestion best for people with Alzheimer’s disease is oral ingestion.

Oral Cannabis Ingestion

oral ingestion is a great method of choice for those with Alzheimer’s disease due its long-lasting effects. It’s more appealing and palatable as well. If sedation and calming effects are desired, mainly high-THC varieties of Cannabis are recommended.

High-Mycrene, High-CBD Varieties, and Possibly Propyl Variations of Cannabinoids

high-mycrene varieties may also be a very helpful for their additional sedative effects and synergy with cannabinoids. For neuroprotective effects, high-CBD varieties should also be considered. Propyl variations of cannabinoids (such as THCV and CBDV may prove to be very promising in the future. To date, studies have not been performed using Propyl variations on Alzheimer’s patients.

Vaporization and Smoking Cannabis

Vaping and smoking Cannabis are not recommended for people with Alzheimer’s disease, unless they are under very close, direct supervision (due to safety concerns).

USEFUL CANNABIS VARIETIES FOR ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE

Afghani and Purple broad-leafleted varieties are the most useful Cannabis THC varieties for use with Alzheimer’s disease. The reason these Cannabis varieties are recommended is due to their calming effects. The Cannabis varieties include:

High CBD-Varieties

high CBD-varieties such as Harlequin and Cannatonic can be used for their anti-inflammatory effects as well for Alzheimer’s disease.

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