Can CBD help a loved one diagnosed with dementia?
According to promising research, CBD – and even THC – may play a pivotal role in mediating the behavioural symptoms associated with dementia.
72% of patients treated with CBD-rich oil (compared to 30% of the placebo group) achieved relief from dementia-induced agitation
Many neurological conditions are underpinned by brain inflammation, and studies suggest that full-spectrum CBD’s neuroprotective properties may reduce further damage caused by early-onset dementia.
What about cannabis and THC for dementia?
We explore this question and so much more in this article.
What is Dementia?
Dementia is a condition that impairs the healthy functioning of your brain. It’s technically not a single disease but a group of disorders.
Dementia tends to deteriorate the brain’s judgement and memory. But these aren’t the only symptoms. Generally, someone with dementia will show one or more of the following behaviours:
- Problems handling complex tasks, like problem-solving or reasoning
- Partial loss of motor functions and coordination
- Awkward behaviour, seeing people who aren’t there or confusing someone for someone else
- General confusion
- Anxiety and depression
- Memory loss
- Personality changes
Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, additional conditions that fall under the dementia umbrella include:
- Lewy Body dementia: when clumps of protein begin to form in the brain
- Vascular dementia: when damage in the blood vessels limits blood supply to the brain
- Frontotemporal dementia: when nerve cells in the brain degenerate
- Huntington’s disease: dementia caused by genetics
- Alzheimer’s disease: dementia caused by old age (as well as lifestyle and environmental factors)
- Parkinson’s disease: a loss of nerve cells responsible for the production of dopamine
CBD Oil for Alzheimer’s and Dementia: How does it work?
Sufferers from Alzheimer’s often show a rapid decline in cognition with degeneration of their brain cells. However, research on CBD and Alzheimer’s is promising.
For example, CBD potentially improves the plasticity of the hippocampus region. The hippocampus is the part of the brain responsible for cognitive function and memory formation.
A 2011 study by Australian researchers found evidence for the therapeutic properties of CBD for Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, they mention the potential value of a CBD-THC combination to mitigate symptoms 
Another study gave mice with Alzheimer’s CBD. They noticed improvements in not only their thinking but mobility functions as well.
Vascular dementia, as mentioned, is when damaged blood vessels limit the blood supply to the brain. One study found activating the CB2 receptor increased brain cell activity and “improve the blood perfusion of the brain via attenuating vascular inflammation.”
The evidence suggests that if you can reduce inflammation, you may reduce your symptoms.
Does CBD for Dementia Work Because It’s an Anti-Inflammatory?
Huntington’s disease is a genetic disorder that kills healthy brain cells. The earliest symptoms are identical to dementia in that sufferers develop mood and concentration problems.
A double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled pilot trial for a CBD-based pharmaceutical showed promising results.
CBD is effective as an anti-inflammatory, making it beneficial for managing dementia conditions like Huntington’s disease.
At least one study has highlighted CBD’s role in reducing neuroinflammation.
Scientists may not be able to resolve dementia with cannabinoid therapy alone. But things sure look promising. CBD does have anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties.
Is THC effective against dementia?
In addition to CBD, THC also shows promise for those suffering from dementia.
A pilot study has found that patients who received a 2:1 CBD:THC extract in varying dosages greatly improved behavioural symptoms, rigidity, and daily care in severely demented patients.
Participants started at a dosage of 7.6 mg THC/13.2 mg CBD and slowly titrated up to 9.0 mg THC/18.0 mg CBD after two months.
CBD for Dementia: Pros and Cons
Are you tired of watching your loved one deteriorate in front of your eyes? It may be time to try CBD oil.
But what are the risks versus the benefits?
Many studies on humans and animals show CBD can treat various conditions classified as dementia.
Typical medications for dementia have unpleasant side effects. In contrast, CBD’s side effects are minor and typically consist of tiredness, change in appetite, and, worst case, diarrhea.
The World Health Organization says CBD has a “relatively low toxicity” with “no case reports of abuse or dependence.” 
CBD is available in Australia through the TGA.
While animal research is promising, there haven’t been any conclusive studies on using CBD to treat humans with dementia. 
There is no standard dosage for CBD as a dementia treatment. It can be difficult to judge if the cannabinoid is working or whether the patient needs a higher dose which can take some fine-tuning.
Unregulated CBD brands may be mislabeled or inaccurate. Buyers should only purchase from credible sources.
CBD oil for Dementia in Australia
So, how do you buy CBD oil for dementia in Australia?
As mentioned, you can go through the TGA. This may be the preferred option if you’re looking for CBD oil to treat a loved one’s dementia.
That said, Australians buy high-quality CBD products from the “green” or black market. This option may be preferable if the TGA process is too cumbersome (and if the low-dose CBD from pharmacies is too expensive).
We’ll leave that decision to you, as using CBD for Alzheimer’s and dementia conditions is not as simple as trying something you like and sticking with it.
As mentioned, if you’re buying for a loved one, it’s not easy to judge whether CBD works for them.
Fortunately, promising studies indicate that CBD will help. And that its risks are few and far between. That alone makes CBD oil for dementia worth looking into.