Cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive compound in cannabis, has come to to the aid of millions of patients across the world now. Well, not just patients but even for healthy people looking for ‘healthier’ lives. In a nutshell, one can perhaps just refer to CBD as a ‘wonder compound’.
One condition that CBD may be unmatchable at treating is Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). A number of studies in rodents and humans have demonstrated that CBD has powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
Brain inflammation is a process that is always on-going and tends to build up as we age. Persistent levels of brain inflammation are to be blamed for long-term problems like Alzheimer’s.
Now since CBD is an anti-inflammatory agent, let’s have a look at the theoretical aspects that may put CBD as a barrier to the development of AD.
How Alzheimer’s affects the brain?
First of all, not every person has a similar likelihood to develop AD. Genetics, lifestyle, environmental factors, etc. are a few parameters that may increase or decrease the likelihood of an individual developing the condition.
AD begins when the region of high brain activity — named hippocampus — that’s highly vulnerable to inflammatory processes, falls victim.
As time progresses, the disease begins to manifest itself in the form of memory loss, depression, heightened anxiety, etc. Eventually, a person may even lose his ability to walk or swallow.
It’s predicted that by the end of 2050, an alarming 120 million people will fall prey to the disease. Notably, AD, (and its associated symptoms) is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.
How CBD may fight Alzheimer’s
Since inflammation can lead to the death of brain cells at a rapid rate, the key lies in bringing down the culprit.
A study conducted decades ago had found a lower risk for AD in individuals who commonly used anti-inflammatory drugs (like Ibuprofen). However, the clinical tries that followed deduced that anti-inflammatory drugs were more of a ‘prevention’ of sorts but not a potential cure for patients with advanced stages of AD.
Furthermore, drugs like Ibuprofen are hard on the gastrointestinal tract and the kidneys. So, as a preventive measure, they are a huge NO. CBD, on the other hand, is natural, a potent antioxidant with no apparent harmful effects.
Another study that looked at the benefits of using CBD for mice with induced Alzheimer’s (by altering the DNA of mice), found that CBD was quite effective at reducing the symptoms if given during the early stages of the disease.
As cannabis and CBD become more acceptable with time, we are almost certain that we would have a cure for many diseases of the brain and not just AD!