Dementia is a frustrating ailment all by itself, but what makes things even worse is the simple fact that it is often a side effect of other, more serious illnesses. Alzheimer’s alone accounts for approximately 50-70% of dementia cases, even though Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases also account for quite a lot of dementia symptoms. Observing the exasperating effects of cognitive disorders and memory loss is painful for friends and family, and pills are hardly ever effective. Luckily, present-day medicine is ready to try the alternative approaches out. One of such approaches is using the oils to alleviate, if not treat entirely, the symptoms of dementia.  

What is CBD oil for dementia? 

CBD, or Cannabidiol oil is extracted from the cannabis plant and is recently proven to alleviate some dementia symptoms, including aggression, anxiety, and sleeping disorders. Cannabidiol is a non-intoxicating substance, which does not have any psychoactive effects. This, in turn, makes it legal in all states.

While there is still no hard evidence that the oil really treats dementia, it helps to make a patient’s life quality better. The same is true for the patient’s inner circle of friends and family who do not have to put up with constant irritation or lack of focus in someone they’re taking care of.  

How does CBD oil for dementia work?

CBD and Alzheimer’s disease are often mentioned together because, as we’ve already mentioned, more than half of demented people suffer from this disease. So, most studies have been focusing on this illness. Alzheimer’s is the result of protein amyloids buildup in our brains, and recent lab research (1) has explicitly proven that Cannabidiol can remove those proteins from animal brains. While there has been little human testing, the preliminary results are quite promising, and more patients are getting the treatment already. So far, most people notice visible effects in decreasing anxiety, mood swings, and depression. 

On the other hand, Alzheimer’s is not the only disease that can cause dementia. Even though these two have their differences, both Alzheimer’s and dementia have to do with protein levels in our brains. Neurological studies have proven that dementia, in general, is the damage to the brain protein levels. Sometimes, the excessive buildup of protein amyloids (2) — just like in the case of Alzheimer’s — is caused by the disruption of blood supply to the brain, as well as the lack of essential neurotransmitters. Both are essential body degradation signs people are going through as they grow older.

We’ve already discussed that Cannabidiol can reduce protein levels in our brains. At the same time, it’s been noted for its vasodilative and anti-inflammatory purposes (3), which strengthen the blood vessels and ensure proper neurotransmission to the brain. Finally, it’s been proven to improve the sleep cycles, which is already helpful in treating aggression and anxiety. 

All of the above implies that CBD could be promising in preventing dementia. It also alleviates most of  symptoms, especially the ones that have to do with our moods. On the other hand, there is still no conclusive evidence that CBDs could effectively reverse the natural course of illness. They are, however, pretty helpful in slowing dementia down. 

Types and differences of CBD oil for dementia 

Even though doctors and researchers did not reach a consensus yet, the oils are gaining ever more popularity in the market. No wonder in that, too — one would try anything to help their loved ones. Besides, the public seems to agree on the fact that CBDs help with dementia — treatment works better for some than others, but it works.

Currently, the market seems to have three leading products when it comes to the oils. They have their differences, even though all three are of high quality and quite potent. 

#1 Royal CBD

This company uses only organic hemp from local farms, making sure to extract all CO2 from the plants. The mixture is pretty potent, it has 33.3 g of CBD in each milliliter. This product is considered one of the safest today — not only because of CO2 extraction but also because each batch is meticulously tested in the lab. It is, however, relatively pricey if compared to other products. On the other hand, high quality and strong oil dosage for dementia cannot, by default, be cheap. Finally, this product comes not only in oil bottles but also in capsules and gummies.

#2 CBDPure

Just like Royal, CBDPure uses local 100% organic hemp, extract CO2, and do proper lab testing before issuing each batch to the stores. They also issue these oils in larger, 60 ml bottles, which keep overall prices on their product lower. But, oil is everything they can offer, and the concentration of CBD per ml is relatively low. 

#3 CBDistillery

CBDistillery prides itself on the fact that their oils are pure CBD, not a drop of THC (the intoxicating part of cannabis). The major downside is that their hemp is not 100% organic, which causes reasonable concern. On the other hand, non-organic ingredients are cheaper, and this product is definitely one of the most affordable ones in the market — while still remaining highly potent. They also offer a vast selection of product forms to choose from. 

How to use CBD oil for dementia? 

From the paragraph above, you might have already guessed that CBD oil does not necessarily come in the shape of oils or tinctures that have to be added to food or drink. There are the other options available, and they often make treatment much easier.

Capsules, for example, can be easily administered to patients suffering from any stage of dementia. Another bonus of administering capsules is that caretakers do not need to figure out the dosage. 

Patches are another example of pre-dosed oils, but can sometimes be a problem if the patient rips them off. They, however, offer a quick and easy start. 

Finally, there are edibles with oils, such as Royal CBD gummies. Edibles can be either flavored or tasteless. Both, however, are easy to administer. 

Benefits of CBD oil for dementia 

Even though research on oil for dementia and Alzheimer’s symptoms treatment remains rather theoretical, scientists seem to agree that cannabis oils have at least three major benefits for the patients:

  • Reducing inflammation; 
  • Reducing oxygen buildup; 
  • Neuroprotection and antioxidant properties.

Other benefits, even though still arguable, include:

  • Reducing motor symptoms such as tremor, bradykinesia, and rigidity; 
  • Maintaining proper sleep cycles; 
  • Reducing anxiety.

The latter three, however, do not seem to work equally effective for all people. Since we all have different genetics, some people seem to take the treatment better than others. Still, if we put it simply, CBD for treating dementia can help to:

  • Improve the patients’ quality of life; 
  • Alleviate mood swings; 
  • Boost short-term memory;
  • Improve sleep cycles; 
  • Decrease anxiety levels; 
  • Reduce aggression levels; 
  • Alleviate nausea, if any. 

Speaking of money, these oils are usually quite affordable and easily available in specialized stores, both online and onsite. They are compatible with all sorts of medication, do not cause physical addiction, and have minimal side effects. But before we even get to those, let’s dig a little deeper into the effects of the oil. 

Effects of CBD oil for dementia 

Aside from the benefits and alleviating effects described above, CBDs can supposedly reverse the brain aging (4), which is the whole point of treating. Alzheimer’s, in particular, is responsible for speeding this process up, which is why CBD Alzheimer’s and dementia are often mentioned together. 

Next, CBDs have been proven to reduce oxidative stress, responsible for the damage of blood vessels. This, in turn, ensures that the brain gets the necessary amount of oxygen, which supports its proper functioning. While there is no proof that it can significantly improve already damaged cognitive processes, it looks like they help to slow further damage down. 

CBDs are also noted for their anti-inflammatory purposes, and even though inflammation, in general, is not directly related to dementia, it is a common ailment in old age. So, this issue must be addressed on a larger scale.

One more effect that will surprise people is that cannabidiols actually help to fight opiate addiction. It’s been effectively used for treating people with heroin addiction. Still, what’s truly important for patients with dementia is that CBDs can alleviate the addictive effects of any opiate-containing drugs — that is, potent pain medications.  

Side effects of CBD oil for dementia 

Despite some obvious benefits of using CBDs to slow down the progress of dementia, it has — like any other medication — some side effects. Some patients note:

  • Dry mouth; 
  • Diarrhea; 
  • Reduced appetite; 
  • Drowsiness; 
  • Fatigue. 

On the other hand, people should understand that these side effects are as circumstantial as the benefits and seem to depend on the patients and their organism specifics. 

Researchers, at the same time, seem to agree that the potential side effects of CBDs are minimal, and regular use does not cause addiction or any other significant cognitive changes in the brain. They, however, note that regular use can lead to hepatotoxicity (5), potentially causing liver problems. Some patients reported liver issues and had to stop the use entirely.  

Another side effect scientists seem to agree on is that cannabidiols block certain enzymes, which are contained in 70-80% of all prescription drugs. So — at least theoretically, even the best oil for Alzheimer’s can interfere with the potential benefits of using those drugs, making the treatment less effective. 

Still, on a larger scale, patients can safely state the adverse side effects of treating with CBDs are minimal. 

FAQ 

Does CBD affect memory?

While the research on this subject remains ambiguous, scientists at least suggest that CBDs can positively affect the brain areas responsible for short-term memory (6). However, there is still no conclusive evidence that the treatment will be 100% effective for all patients.

Will CBD make me feel high?

No. Cannabis substance that makes people high is tetrahydrocannabinol, THC. CBDs, on the other hand, do not have any intoxicating effects. Of course, up to 0.3% of THC is present in most medications because 100% pure extraction is impossible. Still, the dosage is too low to make anyone high. 

Is CBD addictive?

No. CBD does not cause any physical addiction, and there is still no proof that even THC does. On the other hand, they  improve the life quality of patients suffering from dementia, so psychologically speaking, people end up relying on it. 

Can it be used with other drugs?

Yes. There is little evidence that a 100% organic product can interfere with any other medications, even though some research implies so. 

Is CBD legal all over the county?

Yes. Since these oils contain a minimal dosage of THC, the product is legal in every state and is easily available in online and onsite stores. 

Final Word

To wrap up, CBD oils offer a good opportunity to at least somehow alleviate the symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s. While doctors stress that there is no magical pill (yet) for any of these diseases, CBDs are quite effective in improving the patients and their caretakers life quality.  Of course, even the best oil does not have the power to completely cure the illness or even reverse its course — not significantly, at least. What it can do is slow this progress down, and in this, CBDs have been proven quite effective.

Mark Dittmar