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In a time where the aging population is growing steadily, demographic changes has been defined as a current issue that is shaping our society. The number of adults over the age of 60 years is expected to grow significantly in the coming years, which will consequently put more pressure on our healthcare system.

This is a challenge all over the world and highlights the importance of discovering, researching and allowing new ways of treating and preventing age-related ailments.

As such, CBD oil for conditions like dementia is more interesting than ever. In this article, we will look at some of the reasons why.

 

What is dementia?

Dementia is not a disease on its own, but an umbrella term used to define the group of symptoms that negatively affects the tasks we perform every day. Such tasks can be memory, communication, judgment, visual perceptions, and other abilities that are innate parts of our personalities. This is why dementia is often used to describe any drastic personality changes that occur in people as they age.

Thus, dementia is a line of symptoms that comes with age. Any one of us can fall victim to the condition, but it differs in severity and progression. Generally, there are three stages of dementia: mild, moderate and severe. As the condition progresses, symptoms become more and more pronounced.

In the mild stage, dementia may manifest as just a few lapses in memory. This can happen to any of us, especially as we get older, which is why the condition may not be identified at first. However, when daily tasks become more difficult to complete; when it becomes harder for a person to recall information or memories; or when an elderly person’s personality changes for the worse (presenting as aggression, depression, paranoia, or other), then dementia is often diagnosed. During this middle stage, the patient starts to lose some of their independence, which can be quite disheartening for both themselves and their loved ones to witness.

In the severe stage (the final stage), symptoms have significantly advanced. A patient may have trouble communicating or have loss of short- and long-term memory. Personality changes are also more pronounced and some even revert back to their child-like self, because it is the last self that they remember. At this stage, a dementia patient requires extensive care, often 24 hours/day, in order to perform simple tasks such as eating or maintaining personal hygiene. Patients with advanced dementia often become bedridden towards the end.

 

Dementia, depression and CBD

With this insight into the progression of dementia, it comes as no surprise that many dementia patients become depressed or frustrated. However, there may be a deeper connection between dementia and depression than previously thought. In order to understand this connection, we need to look at our human biology:

There are many causes of dementia, such as trauma, stroke or other diseases, but one thing that all types of dementia have in common is a bodily imbalance. When our bodies are imbalanced, either due to disease, an unhealthy diet or poor lifestyle choices, our cells are at risk of damage. This is due to an accumulation of inflammatory chemicals in the body.

It is these inflammations that ties together dementia and depression – and CBD.

When we feel depressed, our bodies activate a type of self-defence. It senses that something is out of balance and then tries its hardest to fix it. It does this by activating macrophages in the blood and microglia in the brain, which are cells that support the immune and nervous systems. However, these cells also release a huge amount of cortisol and pro-inflammatory cytokines into the bloodstream, causing two things: inflammations and stress.

When our bodies are stressed and inflamed, they shut down. This is because cortisol blocks the body’s natural ability to transform protein into energy and also prevents steady airflow to neuronal networks in the brain. When these normal functions are inhibited, a build-up of toxins occurs in the body, which can lead to neurodegeneration (cell death in the nervous system), reduced neuroprotection and lesser neuronal (brain cell) repair.

Due to these negative effects of high cortisol and cytokines levels, clinical evidence suggests that depression may be an early manifestation of dementia.

And this is where CBD comes in to the picture.

 

Can CBD help dementia?

Though there is no cure for dementia, research does indicate that cannabidiol (CBD) can help ease the symptoms and even slow the progression of the condition. This is because CBD has a multitude of beneficial properties, which can positively help prevent and manage the development and progression of dementia.

CBD is anti-inflammatory

Research has shown that CBD has anti-inflammatory effects, which can help reduce the inflammations caused by an imbalanced diet, lifestyle or state of health. This effect can inhibit the development of dementia, as well as many other diseases caused by inflammations in the body, such as arthritis, diabetes, MS and more.

The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD are especially interesting in relation to dementia, which is believed to be caused by inflammations in the brain. When the body detects inflammations, it releases oxygen to reduce it (much like we would blow cold air on burned skin). This increased amount of oxygen, particularly in the brain, causes cells to die quicker. As such, the inflammations caused by depression can be the cause of brain cell death, thus leading to dementia.

CBD is able to stimulate the growth of brain tissue, thereby reversing and preventing the negative impacts of dementia and depression on a person’s cognitive abilities and thus quality of life.

CBD for better blood flow

Research also indicates that the activation of CB2 receptors, which CBD is able to do, can recover good blood flow to the brain. This can then increase brain cell activity and reduce their damage. As such, CBD can positively help increase motor control, such as reducing tremors, as well as enable a better night’s sleep – symptoms that are associated with dementia.

CBD is a brain protector

The ability of CBD to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress is the reason for its strong neuroprotective properties. It can not only help stop the damage and death of brains cells caused by dementia or depression, but studies also show that CBD can help repair damaged areas of the brain.

Moreover, it also works as a brain stimulant by increasing blood flow to the brain, enabling the growth of brain tissue and thus reducing the decline in memory and other cognitive functions.

 

CBD for dementia

The protective, antioxidative, anti-inflammatory and brain cell stimulating abilities of CBD are what makes it such a promising compound for people with dementia. It can potentially help to activate and recover areas of the brain that were thought lost. Moreover, CBD can help reduce stress and anxiety, which can present as both symptoms of dementia and natural responses to the progression of the condition.

Although further research is needed in order to determine the exact functionality of CBD for dementia, preliminary studies show great promise for people – both for those at risk of developing the condition and for those in the advanced stages of the disease. After all, CBD is free from adverse side effects and is completely safe to use, as cemented by the WHO just last year.

A safe, simple and compassionate treatment option to manage and prevent dementia is needed now more than ever, as the majority of the world’s population is reaching an age where the condition is more common. So to protect ourselves and those we love, CBD is an ideal alternative to the common treatment options of age-related diseases.

As a last note, we do recommend that you visit your GP for a talk, before you begin using CBD for the first time. We especially recommend this for the elderly, as CBD can affect the uptake of other medicines, both positively and negatively. However, if you do not take any medicines, then a daily dose of CBD is very likely to do you good.

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