While more clinical research has to be conducted, findings from preclinical research on the possible advantages of cannabinoids for treating and preventing Alzheimer’s disease are promising. Scientists have found in cultural or animal studies indicating that cannabinoids may help inhibit the development of the disease.
Alzheimer’s is believed to be associated with a buildup of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain. This buildup interferes with cell-to-cell communication and appropriate nutrient transport, finally causing the brain cell death.
The use of cannabinoids, however, has shown to inhibit amyloid-beta plaques and tangles to subsequently protect the health of brain cells. Specifically, studies have found tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) efficiently reduces amyloid-beta levels, and cannabidiol (CBD) modulates microglial function to avoid the buildup of tangles.
Cannabinoids also have been demonstrated in studies to have antioxidant, anti inflammatory, and neuroprotective properties, which in turn might help improve the survival rate of brain cells and promote the arrival of new ones. Cannabinoids also have demonstrated to enhance glucose uptake and improve mitochondrial function to promote brain cell health. In theory, these advantages could subsequently possibly reverse cognitive deficits brought on by Alzheimer’s disease.
Just months ago a study by Israeli and German researchers found evidence that cannabinoids effectively reverse age-related memory loss. The findings indicate that cannabinoids are helpful for promoting brain health and possibly treating dementia disorders like Alzheimer’s disease.
Evidence also indicates that cannabinoids can help people who have Alzheimer’s disease better manage their symptoms. Cannabinoids have demonstrated to effectively reduce nocturnal motor activity and agitation, in addition to helping with psychomotor agitation, aggression, and communicating .
Plant-derived cannabinoids such as CBD and THC are similar in makeup to the body’s naturally-synthesized cannabinoids, permitting them to interact with cannabinoid receptors located in the central nervous system. There is some evidence that a lack or congestion of the body’s naturally produced cannabinoids, known as clinical endocannabinoid deficiency, might be connected with the development of Alzheimer’s disease. In such cases, supplementing with plant-based cannabinoids could be good for treating or preventing the disease.
Over 5 million Americans might have Alzheimer’s, the most common type of dementia, and the disease is now rated as the sixth leading cause of death. As no cure for the disease now exists, more research into cannabinoids and their possible advantages for the disease is highly needed.