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Can marijuana help someone with Dementia?

Discussion in 'Medical Marijuana Usage and Applications' started by LoveisKind, Nov 4, 2014.

  1. #1 LoveisKind, Nov 4, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 4, 2014
    I was looking at other threads and some mentioned that marijuana could help with Dementia. It can make a person more comfortable and suppress overly emotional feelings. Obviously, it can't cure it. However, I mentioned it to someone on here and they said, "yeah it's a tough decision what benefits some May hurt another. All that I read on it(while this was a few years ago) said smoking/ingesting thc will not help and actually can make things worse. Flooding the brain with cannabis reduces endocannabinoid receptors in the brain which ultimately impedes their ability to open "the gates" for learning and memory."
    So, I have conflicting information here that it can be good and bad with someone who has dementia. Is there anyone out there who has has experience knowing someone who has dealt with this and used marijuana medicinally for it? I want to know whether it is good or bad. More pros than cons?

  2. I have no anecdotes regarding dementia and marijuana, but here is some reading on the subject. Cannabis (particularly the THC) could possibly prevent or slow the progression of Alzheimer's, by inhibiting acetylcholinesterase. Activating cannabinoid receptors may also reduce neuroinflammation, which often exacerbates the disease (among others). CBD may work as a neuroprotectant.

    It may have similar benefits for other neurological diseases, like ischemic stroke and Parkinson's.

    Whether marijuana would be palliative for patients with dementia is questionable, and could definitely vary among patients. I could perhaps see it as relaxing and/or enjoyable, for people in earlier stages of dementia. And since most have other medical conditions, often painful ones, it could provide a benefit there as well. The psychotropic effects could be overwhelming, frightening even, among those in later stages though.
  3. This makes sense. The person who has it has been diagnosed about 2 years ago and she's in her early 50's, but who knows how long the disease actually has been going on for. Anyway, I think it's still in the early phases where her body isn't withering away, but her memory is. So, I think it would help her more than anything to relieve the emotional distress and stress. She even told me she felt like she was "in a prison" where she was yelled at over frustration since she couldn't remember.
  4. Well, did she enjoy the effects of marijuana before? Or other intoxicants, like alcohol? Has she ever tried it? Is she still fairly in tune with herself and her surroundings, but has declining memory? Would feeling more disconnected from her usual (or former) self be comforting or just more stressful? All these could play a factor. I can certainly not give strong advice one way or the other, I'm not experienced enough in the particular subject, nor am I familiar with this lady and her personality or disease progression. I know it's likely easier said than done, but simply trying to discuss the idea with her (assuming it's possible) might be your best bet. Is she accepting of marijuana use?
    Good luck to her, and the rest of you who are also feeling the effects of this disease. Sad to see someone with it so young.
  5. #6 LoveisKind, Nov 4, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 4, 2014
    Thank you. Yes, it's actually my boyfriend's mom and he talked to his dad and he was cool about it and was looking to do more research about it tomorrow. I think it will help his mom. She has never drank alcohol in my presence so I don't think she drank that much at all and I think she never used weed either. I think that's why my bf got 6 g to make it a trial and error kind of thing. The form of using would be by using edibles and we will start with a smaller amount if his dad approves and hopefully it will give her some comfort/relaxation. If edibles don't work, we will try smoking and see how that goes. I would rather see her giggly and happy than being sad all the time. She is also aware of what's going on too.
  6. If she doesn't like the psychoactive effects, taking it at night is still beneficial. A family member of mine has dementia and when she takes â…›-¼ gram of RSO every night, the benefits are truly amazing. It makes her 80-90% better! For example, when she's in the routine of taking the oil, she essentially functions like a normal person. She buys food and cooks, works out, makes and keeps plans with friends, remembers to go to appointments, has meaningful conversations, etc. When she isn't taking oil, she basically stays in her room and plays computer games. She gets completely confused (doesn't know what day it is), hardly eats, doesn't exercise, misses dates and appointments… After only a few weeks taking the oil, the improvement is indisputable.
  7. Edibles are great thing, but like you said, I would start very small. Like a gram or two in a batch of brownies or cookies, give her half of one, and the other half in a few hours if it wasn't enough. Even that might be a little much for somebody with no tolerance, especially if they're fairly small in stature. Too strong of a high would likely turn her off of it. In instances like this, you really can't start too small. If needed, another dose can always be taken (don't jump the gun though, they could take up to a couple hours to kick in fully).
  8. #9 LoveisKind, Nov 5, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 5, 2014
    No oils... just straight buds over here is what we have, but I am hoping it will help her regardless. Thanks for the advice.

    Yea, I am aware. I made edibles the first time over a month ago and I learned not to use/eat so much at a time. I was shitfaced stoned and I realized I in took way too much, so I can keep that in mind for her. So that will help. Thanks for the advice!
  9. I just did a quick search of PubMed with the search terms "Alzheimer's" and "cannabinoids" in the title and only four peer reviewed articles came back. While all of them suggested improved conditions, it goes to show that the research (besides CK's helpful list) is still coming along, trickling, so to speak. My guess is that they will find more and more evidence suggesting cannabis as a valid therapeutic.
    Also would suggest looking into the RSO/QWISO method mentioned. I've been taking the oil for over a month now, and I've seen dramatic improvement in my symptoms. Don't have dementia, but I'm just one of a growing number of people who are anecdotally building evidence for the enhanced symptom management if not curing of various diseases and disorders through using concentrated oil.
    Plenty of Googling you can do on this, but if you want to PM me, feel free. Sorry to hear you and your family are going through this, but I sure hope you give it a go; I'm optimistic it would improve several elements of her condition, and as Gemstoner said, "indisputable" in my experience. (Just start slow!!!)
    Good luck and let us know how it goes sometime if you can.   
  10. Here is something very important for you to know:
    Cannabis and its cannabinoids are proven to be highly effective antioxidants and neuroprotectants.
    While the euphoria-type feelings can help to melt away tension and stress...
    You must know , equally or more importantly, the great potentials offered by potent antioxidants (such as cannabis) in the role of protecting against neurodegenerative conditions; this explicitly includes Alzheimer's and dementia.
    Research continuously emerges on this topic, largely because biotech companies are literally buying up application-patents left and right for using cannabinoids to treat myriads of conditions.
    By far some of the most promising aspects of cannabis as far as medical/health value:
    The endocannabinoid system
    The potent antioxidant effects
    You may have already researched the connection between antioxidants and neurodegenerative conditions. If not please do.
    Inflammatory damage = free radical damage = oxidative stress
    Oxidative stress is the root of most/all disease. Not only in degenerative mental states but also cancer, heart disease, arthritis, and onwards.
    See also patent#6630507
    Really look deeply unto the research behind that patent, conducted by the NIH and now owned by the US Health/Human Services Dept.
    Mitigating oxidative stress successfully is impossible to OVER-emphasize the importance of.
    Be well, best of luck
  11. what this guy said right here.
  12. Actually cannabis (in any form other than smoking) has been shown by multiple researchers to protect against and even reverse, brain damage. Cannabis is one of the most powerful neuroprotectants that has ever been discovered and has also been shown to spur the growth of new brain cells while protecting old ones.

    What's also amazing is the anti-anxiety and anti-depressive effects of cannabinoids (In this study it is CBD -cannabidiol) are actually A RESULT of growing new brain cells:
    Cannabis (high CBD strains are by far the most effective) and a vegetarian diet are the best ways to treat any degenerative disease! Good luck! 
  13. #14 Gemstoner, Nov 10, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 10, 2014
    Is this the article from your second link? I used the numbers from your link in pubmed's search form to get there because your link didn't work.
  14. Too bad my bf's dad is a bit slow of approving to use it for my bf's mom. He even wrote a letter to the Alzheimers Association to see what they say. Obviously, since it's illegal right now, they aren't going to be much help. I can see it coming.
  15. if there is an organization set up making money do not expect them to offer a cure for an ailment that is the money maker that makes them high and have hard ons. if you approached them with the cure and they accept it as such their bank account would take a huge dive into non existence- do you think they will accept the cure ?? Oh! the cure can grow in dirt or any growing medium and dirt is much abundant to any human on the planet
  16. #17 RedSkySoldier, Nov 10, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 10, 2014
    You might have to put on your lobbyist hat and parlay with your BF's dad and help him reduce his own fear (I'm guessing?) about accepting such a "radical" treatment for his wife. He is in a very tough spot, so have compassion for him as well. You're doing an awesome thing, and I think most of us here would say "Get it done!" if you can, of course. Just keep planting seeds, metaphorically, and water every day. I don't know the specific circumstances of her deterioration, but if you're really committed to getting your mother in law (ish) treated with cannabis, steady as she goes. A calm, over time, discussion with all people involved (and possibly led by you?) will probably give you the best chance of seeing this thing through. People need time to adjust to heavy decisions, but you're right, don't look to any official organization for help in convincing your bf's dad. However, try this link? Scroll down for link on neurological/neurodegenerative diseases. Maybe walk him through history, science, uses, etc? Whatever he needs. Hope you find success. 
  17. #18 LoveisKind, Nov 11, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2014
    Thanks to the both of you. It is really hard getting to my bf's family because they don't really communicate as is and it's a terrifying thing when his dad blows up and no one really says anything about it (my bf didn't until I told him that it was wrong for his dad to blow up on his mom just because he isn't as patient with her). I can't really "lead" his family since they can't lead themselves and that is not my place whatsoever.
    I already told my bf he needs to be more proactive since they would obviously listen to him more than me... All I know is that I tried and if nothing is done about it and years later, when it's proven that my bf and I were right, I am sure they will regret it. They will regret that there was something there to help my bf's mom. Now, it's 2 weeks later and nothing still has been said or done about it. Sorry to say it so bluntly, but it's the truth.
  18. Hi LoveisKind,
    I'm sorry you're in such a difficult position. It sounds like everybody is under a lot of pressure and stress, worrying about a very uncertain future and a person who is no doubt very much loved. 
    However, it's only been two weeks so far. Am I correct that dementia does take years to progress? My understanding is that you still have time, and my message is to not give up. They may end up thanking you - Dad included - very much so, if you are willing to walk through the fire, so to speak.
    It sounds like the Dad is not doing so well, plus he may have some anger issues? I can relate. My father is like that, and I imagine that if he were not in favor of using cannabis that he would respond the same way. His anger issues are is own, and they will probably never change. But understand how scared he is right now, and that is his only mechanism of making it through this period. 
    Just keep in mind that that is his life partner, his wife, who he is slowly witnessing disappear right before his eyes. Not literally, but that's what dementia does. My grandmother had it, and it is very painful to watch, though I was young when she died. But nobody in this picture wants the future that lies ahead, especially your father who is probably very dependent on his wife for a happy life, and he feels impotent at the moment. That's a tough thing for us dudes - we like to be in control.
    So, my suggestion, if you're still open to it, is to take it slow. Steady as she goes. Be a rock of unwavering support for the use of cannabis oil, but don't push it. Start throwing pebbles at the window, so to speak. You will have to be the educator in the family. Not the one pushing everybody around, but a beacon of light, so to speak. You will have to carry the torch kindly, and gently, and be sensitive of others feelings. And you will have to be very patient. But the SCIENCE is on your side. You just need to find the right amount of tact to help your BF's father see it too. 
    You can start by reviewing the last link I sent to Americans for Safe Access. Probably the most renown organization in the U.S. and they have a lot of helpful, thoughtful, educating material which might show your BF's father that you are serious, and so is the SCIENCE behind all of this. 
    In my experience, the SCIENCE is what convinces people to open the door to considering this path. Many of us are not good at taking medicine on pure faith, myself included. Slowly introducing your BF's father to information from very professional sources (like ASA) may - in time - start taking the place of his need to contact the national Alzheimer's Association. What he needs is confidence in your suggested method, which he will not get from you. You can talk until you're blue in the face... But print out for him, one bit at a time, info from sources that he can simply look at and say, "Hey, this looks professional. Wonder what's in here..." but also, stuff that he can really learn from. He will have to be educated from the ground up. You are way past that. You know what you're talking about.
    If you really want to make a difference here, and I will not fault you if you think all of this is too much, then you must be patient, you must be the rock of the family, at least when it comes to sharing your validated scientific opinion and facts from peer-reviewed research. Anti-degenerative properties of Cannabis, including the anti-oxidant ones mentioned earlier will be among the most amazing revelations of this new millennium. You are right, essentially, and your BF's father is wrong. But he is SCARED.
    Same thing I would suggest for those starting out taking cannabis as I would suggest for those beginning the thought process of such treatment, START LOW, GO SLOW! Nothing is out of the question just yet. 
    Like I was told to do with heavy subjects, "Eat that elephant one bite at a time." 
    Hope this helps.
  19. Thank you for being so informative. We don't have oil where we are. Just straight buds... is that ok to use?

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