Using CBD (THC Free) to Treat the Symptoms of Dementia
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Since 2018, I have been successfully using CBD to help with my mother’s drug-induced dementia symptoms.
Drug-induced dementia? Yes!
For over seven years my mother was prescribed a litany of psychiatric drugs for her depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and insomnia. After the death of my father, she could not recover from her deep-seated grief.
For anxiety, depression, panic attacks, and insomnia, of course, the first choice for the prescription pad is? Benzodiazepines! But wait, there’s more! Broken bones meant she would be prescribed opioids too! Is there a law in CT that says if a person is on a benzodiazepine they cannot be prescribed an opioid? Who’s checking? Who is responsible? This is life and death people!
So, after years of taking Xanax, Ativan, Klonopin, lorazepam, Diazepam, Gabapentin and many, many more, my mother’s mental symptoms worsened as her physical health declined.
What would you expect after destroying the gut, the brain, and the nervous system? A diagnosis of COPD, Congestive Heart Failure, Type II Diabetes, Acute Kidney Failure, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, Osteoporosis, Ulcerative Colitis, and 4 Bleeding Ulcers.
She had major cognitive function decline, became agoraphobic, refused to shower, developed constant migraine headaches, nausea, vomiting, sweating, tinnitus, dizziness, memory loss, and amnesia. She had frequent motor vehicle accidents that she could never recall, and she even used a bucket as a toilet that she kept in the kitchen!
Besides the benzos, my mother was prescribed other drugs to combat the physical symptoms the benzos were causing: acid reflux, recurring infections, and sinus congestion. Added to everything else she was given osteoporosis meds and bi-weekly injections of Humira for her ulcerative colitis.
You just can’t make this up. It’s like science fiction.
After many hospital and psych ward stays I was able to taper my mother off of the psych drugs. CBD is a godsend and one of the only herbs that actually helps with all of the psych symptoms, blended along with other herbs which pair really well with CBD, like Hops and Rose. I had to work to find the perfect combination for her.
After months of tapering and the incorporation of good quality, organic foods, my mother was finally able to eat again. Minerals and electrolytes helped her to regain her strength. Herbal teas and water, elimination of gluten, caffeine, refined sugar, and dairy (which disrupt the gut and stimulate anxiety, depression, panic attacks, insomnia, anger, and raging) also helped.
You might wonder if my mom is on any prescription drugs now? Nope! And everything has returned to normal. Well, except for her brain. It seems that the damage to her brain is not something we can reverse, only manage with CBD.
Fun Fact – I tried medical marijuana with my mother but because they don’t have enough information about the use of CBD/THC with dementia, it was an absolute nightmare. All of the symptoms not only reappeared but became worse.
To learn more about our story, go here.
I am on a mission to raise awareness about the benzo crisis, which has hit epidemic proportions. More than 80 million people, ages 6 months and up, are prescribed a benzodiazepine each year.
Package inserts state that the use of benzodiazepines is contraindicated for use in children, teens, and the elderly population, are to be used for no more than 2-4 weeks and should include a two-week taper. They should never be used long-term, let alone a lifetime!
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Taken from Dementia Care Central – CBD Health Benefits for Dementia
The dementia-related conditions that can be helped by CBD include: Alzheimer’s disease, Vascular Dementia, Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), Parkinson’s disease, Frontotemporal dementia and Huntington’s disease.
According to researchers at California’s Salk Institute, their 2017 study has found evidence that cannabinoids such as CBD could help remove dementia from brain cells. While the US Food and Drug Administration has yet to approve a CBD drug for the purposes of treating dementia, it has approved a CBD-based drug for treating epilepsy.
There are three ways CBD can work to improve health outcomes for persons with dementia: by reducing inflammation, by reducing oxygen buildup, and by working as a brain stimulant and neuroprotectant. From a user’s perspective, CBD may reduce stress and anxiety in the individual with dementia as well as reduce the decline of memory and other brain functions.
It should be noted that much controversy surrounds CBD and the claims companies have made as to its positive effects.
The topic of CBD health benefits continues to grow with new CBD and Alzheimer’s research. In recent studies, CBD has been shown to reduce or remove the impact of inflammation, oxygen buildup and brain cell decline.
Inflammation has been shown to increase the negative impact of Alzheimer’s disease. The inflammatory response happens when the brain’s immune cells fail to clear disorienting blockages. The inflammation that is a core cause of Alzheimer’s symptoms can often be reduced by using CBD oil.
Oxygen is released as a reactive, stress-induced component of Alzheimer’s disease. When inflammation happens in the brain, oxygen is released as a result. The greater the inflammation, the greater the negative impact. Important brain functions such as memory are decreased as more oxygen is released in the brain’s cells. Memory loss and other brain deterioration indirectly leads to increased oxygen in the brain. CBD is an antioxidant, which helps reduce the problems associated with oxygen stress. Brain functions negatively impacted by oxygen stress can be improved by using CBD.
Alzheimer’s patients’ brain cells often show a path of rapid decline and destruction. The potential of stimulating brain tissue was recently discovered as a potential benefit of CBD. In clinical trials, CBD has shown the ability to reverse and even prevent the development of Alzheimer’s negative impact. A 2011 study by Australian researchers Tim Karl and Carl Group found that CBD promotes the growth and development of brain cells, which were shown to reduce the decline of memory and other brain functions.
Vascular dementia is a general term describing problems with reasoning, planning, judgment, memory and other thought processes caused by brain damage from impaired blood flow to one’s brain. To effectively treat vascular dementia, a 2016 study by the US National Institute of Health (NIH) found that activating CB2 (cannabinoid) receptors in the brain helped recover better blood flow to the brain. Activating the CB2 receptors with CBD has increased brain cell activity and helped reduce brain cell damage commonly associated with vascular dementia.
Dementia with Lewy Bodies
Lewy body dementia (LBD) is a disease associated with abnormal deposits of a protein called alpha-synuclein in the brain. These deposits, called Lewy bodies, affect chemicals in the brain whose changes, in turn, can lead to problems with thinking, sleeping, movement, behavior, and mood. Unlike most pain, anxiety or behavior management drugs, CBD does not block acetylcholine, the main chemical that LBD attacks. Research has shown that CBD can be an effective anti-inflammatory agent, reduce motor symptoms (tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia) and maintain circadian (sleep) rhythms.
Parkinson’s is a chronic progressive disease of the nervous system chiefly affecting middle-aged and elderly people. Parkinson’s is linked to decreased dopamine production and marked by tremor, muscular rigidity, and slow, imprecise movement. Digestive imbalance may also play a role in the progression of Parkinson’s and the severity of symptoms. Cannabinoids such as CBD have shown to contain effective brain protectors, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties which can be beneficial for managing Parkinson’s disease. Read more about Parkinson’s and CBD.
Frontotemporal Dementia / Pick’s Disease
Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) or frontotemporal degenerations refers to a group of disorders caused by progressive nerve cell loss in the brain’s frontal lobes (the areas behind one’s forehead) or its temporal lobes (the regions behind one’s ears) that leads to symptoms of depression and psychosis. Unlike most anti-psychotic drugs, CBD does not lead to an increased risk of death. Research has shown that CBD can be an effective anti-inflammatory agent, reduce anxiety, reduce motor symptoms (tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia) and maintain circadian (sleep) rhythms.
Huntington’s disease (HD), also known as Huntington’s chorea, is an inherited disorder that results in death of brain cells. The earliest symptoms are often subtle problems with mood or mental abilities. A general lack of coordination and an unsteady gait often follow. According to 2016 research from the University of Madrid, due to CBD’s effectiveness as antioxidants and its anti-inflammatory properties that is safe and tolerable at high doses, CBD can be beneficial for managing Huntington’s disease.