It's no secret. We're all getting up there. The youngest baby boomers have already reached their late 50s. Naturally, we hear from people wondering if CBD oil benefits customers with age-related challenges. For example, they ask us, "How can CBD help with memory?"
Some have specific questions about CBD for the prevention of Alzheimer's disease or dementia.
Let's go ahead, then, and look at the science of the matter.
The Cannabis Plant and Memory
OK, boomers. You don't need to be told that THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the famous psychoactive compound in pot, a.k.a. cannabis. That's what gets people high, and ready to eat an entire baking sheet full of hot pretzels, maybe with some chili poured over the top. Or chocolate chips.
And if the seventies and eighties were especially good to you, we can assume you're wondering if your parents had a wee bit of a point back then about the potential negative effects of smoking up a storm, such as an occasionally murky memory.
Here's an interesting thing about marijuana while we're on the subject. The plant has another key compound, which we are getting to know better and better. That compound is cannabidiol, known by its nickname, CBD. It does its work by engaging the natural cannabinoid receptors in our brains—and in the organs throughout our bodies, too. CBD, we're learning, could take the edge off nervousness and that "paranoid" feeling sometimes associated with a high.
The Rise of CBD, a Different Sort of Cannabis Compound
Hemp is another kind of cannabis plant. CBD, its key derivative, doesn't make a person high.
So, cannabis could benefit a lot from having a high CBD ratio, right? But that's just not what's happened with most strains of pot. Plant breeders worked on increasing the THC and reducing the CBD content of their crops, and that explains the prevalence of "skunk weed" and other forms of pot on the underground market with strong and perhaps negative effects on our cognitive health.
CBD Oil and Memory Problems
The Food and Drug Administration has not approved any CBD products for dementia, Alzheimer's, or general memory loss. Yet there is research going on to explore CBD's potential role.
Researchers in 2017 demonstrated that CBD is a valid candidate for novel Alzheimer's treatments.
Does this mean CBD oil for memory loss is now a thing? It could have positive effects on memory, say the folks at Dementia Care Central. They point out that the loss of short-term memory is typically an early signal for dementia. There can be a gradual progression impacting long-term memory as well.
Dementia Care Central, on Using CBD for Several Conditions
CBD might support the health of people with dementia, says Dementia Care Central, in three vital ways: by acting as an anti-inflammatory, by promoting the healthy release of oxygen, and by offering stimulation and neuroprotection to the brain, helping people with:
- Alzheimer’s Disease. While inflammation is medically known to worsen the impact of Alzheimer’s disease, CBD, in contrast, is understood to provide anti-inflammatory effects. This property of cannabidiol is widely known and not controversial. In addition, CBD has antioxidant properties. And oxygen release is a major factor in play during brain cell decline. CBD researchers have been able to stimulate human brain tissue in clinical settings, reports Dementia Care Central, and the results indicated that cannabidiol is protective and even preventative against Alzheimer’s symptoms.
- Pick’s Disease. Frontotemporal dementia, commonly called Pick's Disease, involves the slow depletion of nerve cells in the lobes on the front or the sides of the brain. The results? Depression or even psychosis. Many people want to avoid anti-psychotic drugs, with their serious (sometimes even lethal) side effects. So they're seeking alternative paths, including cannabidiol, which research shows is anti-psychotic.
- Parkinson’s & Huntington’s Diseases. Parkinson’s can affect people as early as middle age. Linked to a dopamine deficit, it shows itself in rigid or shaky muscles. CBD may be beneficial, according to Dementia Care Central. Research published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology shows that CBD’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory traits make it helpful in managing Huntington’s as well as Parkinson's, and that it has additional protective effects against depression. The researchers described CBD as a "well-tolerated" compound that "exhibits a broad spectrum of therapeutic properties."
- Other Forms of Dementia. Dementia Care Central also cites literature showing CBD's protective results against vascular dementia—a brain impairment resulting from decreased blood flow to the brain—and Lewy body dementia, in which protein deposits in the brain cause memory, movement, sleeping, and mood issues.
So, this wraps up what some folks who work on dementia issues all the time are pointing out. We pass it along for informational purposes, not to promise particular outcomes. Consider this a start to doing your own research and exploration into the current research on cannabidiol and memory support.
Here's to the Future!
Speak with your doctor about CBD. Overall, research continues to find CBD's potential to ease inflammation, reduce motor symptoms like tremors, and improve mood and sleep patterns. The World Health Organization (WHO) says CBD doesn't have any kind of abuse potential, which makes it especially helpful for people living with pain or anxiety. It further says that it could find no examples of public health risks connected with pure CBD.
We're proud to tell you we extract our premium CBD oils from the hemp plants on our dedicated, organic farm. If you have questions, we'd be happy to discuss them with you. This is our passion.
OK, whippersnappers. Let's get out there and crush this new decade!