Research has demonstrated a connection between using marijuana and higher brain function in the elderly and may give insight into how to treat dementia. This new study was led by Andreas Zimmer from Germany’s University of Bonn. The research, which was recently published in the journal Nature Medicine, divulges the impacts of marijuana on the elderly mouse brain.
Dementia is also known as senility, is a category of brain diseases which decrease memory and thought process. Dementia is strong enough to hinder the daily activities of the person. This condition is also characterized by problems with language, lack of motivation and emotional problems. As the brain ages, cognitive ability decreases, making it more difficult to learn new things or multitask. Although this process is normal, in some cases, it can evolve into dementia. Researchers have long sought ways to slow or even reverse this process. Over a period of four weeks, the German-Israeli research team administered a small quantity of THC to mice aged two, 12 and 18 months. Mice normally show pronounce cognitive deficits as early as age one. Mice that were given only a placebo displayed natural age-dependent learning and memory losses. But the cognitive functions of rodents treated with cannabis were just as good as the two-month-old control animals. The scientists also discovered that a mouse’s brain ages much faster when it lacks functional receptors for THC. As a next step, the researchers hope to conduct a clinical trial to investigate whether THC also reverses aging processes and improves cognitive ability in the human brain.
“The treatment completely reversed the loss of performance in the old animals,” said Prof. Andreas Zimmer of Bonn University’s Institute of Molecular Psychiatry.
While mice are often used for lab tests due to their biological and behavioral similarities to humans, they are, quite simply, not humans. Researchers see this study opening new avenues for further research into diseases that affect aging brains, like dementia. It’s strange to imagine considering weed usually makes one forgetful and easily confused, but breakthrough research is usually counterintuitive.
Medical cannabis has been demonstrated anecdotally and scientifically to alleviate various symptoms of aging, including symptoms prominent for a loved one with sundowners. It is effective in treating insomnia, and calming down anxiety. It also has strong effects of calming down problematic behaviors, including panic driven flight responses or violence. While it’s true that cannabis may induce some short-term memory loss, it has only demonstrated long term memory loss effects with chronic use over several years, or use early in brain development. Promising studies have also demonstrated that THC, the active compound in marijuana, may in fact delay the formation of brain clogging Alzheimers plaque better than pharmaceuticals currently available on the market. Both sativa and indica strains can be helpful for patients with cognitive decline. Sativa strains can uplift patients during the day and help keep them active; while indica strains can help them sleep well without that heavy drowsy feeling in the morning.
Top Cannabis Strains for Dementia
Don’t be fooled by the name, Green Crack is the purest of marijuana strains and is a sativa dominant (75%) hybrid. Its THC content ranges from a mild 13% to a strong 21% and it is a cross of Skunk #1 and Sweet Leaf indica. Once upon a time, this strain was named Green Kush but Snoop Dogg renamed it to celebrate its energizing effects.
It is by far one of the most popular recreational strains on the market but Green Crack is also an outstanding option for Alzheimer’s patients in particular because it is a potentially effective method of removing harmful amyloid beta plaque.
You will feel an initial head high but it doesn’t take long for relaxation to take hold. Even so, it is a great strain to boost your mental powers and is widely used by creative types.
White Russian is more than just a popular cocktail. This strain is the love child of two powerful hybrid strains, AK-47 and White Widow. White Russian has a high THC content of 22%, which is pretty rare these days. A high THC content is extremely beneficial for patients who are suffering from cognitive decline. This hybrid has strong sativa properties which makes it ideal for daytime medication although it can also help you sleep well if you smoke it at night. White Russian is also used by patients to treat appetite loss, pain, depression, and stress.
LSD has high a THC content, sometimes reaching as much as 24%. Because of its potent psychoactive properties, LSD is recommended for elderly patients who already have experience consuming cannabis. For those who can handle it, LSD delivers a strong psychedelic hit and a delicious head-high. Its indica-dominant properties make it perfect for evening relaxation or to help with sleep, although many also enjoy medicating with this strain in the afternoon. LSD’s effects are felt quickly, sometimes as fast as the first exhale. Many users report experiencing the giggles with this, so if you have a loved one who is also suffering from depression and mood disorders due to dementia, this is the perfect strain for them.
Skunk No. 1
Skunk No. 1 is popular among medical cannabis patients of all ages. One of the unique properties of this hybrid is that it has the ability to deliver almost 50/50 in both body and mind experience. This is due to its Colombian, Afghani, and Mexican heritage that few other strains possess. Skunk No. 1 is recommended for patients with dementia as well as those suffering from inflammation-related conditions, depression, insomnia, pain, stress, and headaches. Skunk No. 1 is ideal for those who tend to be moody, depressed, and fatigued as a result of either dementia or Alzheimer’s because of its ability to uplift, make you feel happy and euphoric, and calm you down.
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