Dementia is a debilitating condition that occurs in conjunction with a number of other ailments. Usually associated with degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, it can have very serious effects. Dementia sufferers show a range of symptoms from memory loss to basic mental capability. Deterioration can be very fast indeed, and there is no known cure.
As with many ailments, it has been reported by some patients – and also seen in some clinical trials – that CBD oil may be of use to dementia sufferers. Some users have said it helps with reducing stress and anxiety, and is also useful in helping them sleep. Is CBD oil useful for dementia sufferers? Let’s take a closer look.
Why CBD oil?
First, it’s important we stress that CBD oil has not been formally passed as a medicinal treatment for dementia. The claims for its effectiveness come from personal testimony, and from a few clinical trials that have been carried out. Research into the potential uses of CBD in medicine is ongoing – and is also, we might add, very promising. So what is it about CBD oil that has gained it such attention?
CBD is shorthand for cannabidiol. This is one of more than 100 compounds that can be extracted from the cannabis plant. Here is where the controversy begins, as cannabis is of course illegal to possess. However, CBD is interesting as a medicinal compound because it has been shown to have certain properties. Also, it does not contain the element that gives the famous ‘high’ one gets when smoking cannabis. That comes from THC, which is only present in CBD oil in very small trace amounts.
What it has been shown to do is help people with anxiety and depression, and it is also known to act as a pain reliever. It can help with sleep in persons who have trouble, and is used by many with chronic illnesses for various reasons. How can it help with dementia?
CBD oil and dementia
Dementia brings with it many symptoms. The most prevalent of these is extreme memory loss. Dementia sufferers often have difficulty recognising people – even those they have been very close to – which can be upsetting and difficult for all involved.
In a trial carried out with mice, it was found that those treated with CBD over a long period did not suffer social recognition problems that others with symptoms of dementia experienced. Of course, we are not mice, but research such as this is important and is continued.
In one experiment carried out in a nursing home in Switzerland a group of patients were treated with CBD and THC. Ten patients were involved, and the results were that half of them vastly reduced – or stopped taking – their other medication, and experienced reduced behavioural problems. The staff also noticed the patients also experienced improved mobility. This, and brief reports of other studies and trials, is reported by cbdoilgeek which is an authority site for information and news regarding CBD.
We must say that before a dementia sufferer starts taking CBD oil it is important to consult with a doctor. Undoubtedly, the patient will already be taking some medication, and while CBD oil is natural and safe, it’s wise to ensure it will not interact with other drugs.
More research is clearly needed before we can conclude that CBD oil is of help to dementia sufferers, but the positive reports from users, and from the few clinical trials that have been carried out, are certainly of interest. Check it out further, and remember to talk to your doctor before embarking on a course of CBD oil.
Alicia Saville did her degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. She has an ongoing interest in mental health and well-being.
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