What is Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is a tricky beast. There are no definitive treatments for it and once the disease starts it is irreversible. The symptoms produced via Alzheimer’s happen because the neurons in the brain start having trouble communicating. Normally the neurons communicate with each other through synapses. However, the brain begins to create too much of a protein called beta-amyloid (or A-beta for short).
When this happens, the protein clumps together to form a plaque which blocks the synapses. So one might wonder, “Why is the brain creating so much of this A-beta?” That’s a good question. The reason is because the cleaners aren’t doing their job. The brain cleaner, known as Microglia, is supposed to clear away cellular debris and dead neurons, but it can’t because of another type of protein called Tau. When Tau begins to over replicate it attaches to other tau and creates tangles in the microglia. When this happens, the microglia can longer do its job function of clearing away excess a-beta proteins.
Now you’ll ask, “Well, then WHY does the tau protein over-replicate?” Scientists believe the cause of tau overpopulation is due to chemical changes in the brain. Part of the reason may be because the vascular system fails to deliver the proper amount of blood and nutrients to the brain. Another reason could be insufficient glucose meaning the brain doesn’t have enough energy.
All of this adds up to inflammation in the brain, which is where CBD steps in. While there is no research suggesting that cannabidiol (CBD) can reverse Alzheimer’s, the hope is that CBD will prevent Alzheimer’s from developing and if the disease has already started to stop it from progressing further.
Studies so Far
The truth is that most “studies” done are really just research papers suggesting that CBD has potential to help with Alzheimer’s. There is one study suggesting that THC, the cannabinoid that gets you high, will add to an Alzheimer’s suffer’s quality of life by improving sleep and caregiver distress while decreasing apathy, agitation, delusions, and irritability.
However, the sample size was too small in this study to derive any fundamental conclusions. One study done on rats suggests that while CBD does not reverse neurological deficits caused by Alzheimer’s, it will in fact stop the inflammation and assumes that the disease will stop progressing where it’s at.
To reiterate what was described earlier, part of the cause of Alzheimer’s is the over-population of the A-beta protein. There was a study done on rats where CBD suppressed the creation of these A-beta proteins and thus decreased inflammation that way.
While a lot of research still needs to be done on CBD’s effects on Alzheimer’s there is overwhelming assumption of its potential to help at least suppress the condition where it’s at.
And while the research is lacking we do know, according to the World Health Organization, that CBD has no negative side effects. Therefore, if you or someone you know has Alzheimer’s or any other form of dementia, then maybe it is time to give CBD a try.