Alzheimer’s is currently the most common type of dementia in the US. Over 60 percent of all the dementia cases are from Alzheimer’s diseases. Statistics indicate that more than 5 million people in America are suffering from this neurological disorder. And by the year 2040, this number is expected to double. Although there is no cure for this disease at the moment, it’s possible to manage Alzheimer’s by using marijuana. This article provides a review of the best marijuana strains that can help treat Alzheimer’s disease.
What Is Alzheimer’s disease?
It is a form of dementia. Alzheimer’s is a neurological disorder which causes the death of brain cells. As a result, the patient ends up suffering from cognitive decline and memory loss. The loss of the brain cells causes the brain to shrink, leading to mental impairment.
Causes and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s is a complex disease which has a wide range of causes. Some of the factors that lead to its development may be hereditary. However, there are some instances where its cause is mainly as a result of lifestyle choices. The common main causes are:
- Genetics: This involves the presence of certain genes which cause Alzheimer’s
- Lifestyle factors: Things such as poor quality of sleep, a diet that’s free of vegetables and fruits, and lack of physical exercise.
- Environmental factors: Long-term exposure to harmful environmental factors such as chemicals, radioactive compounds, and air pollution. Additionally, bacteria and viruses can also cause infections which may trigger Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s Risk Factors
- Age: It is the greatest risk factor of Alzheimer’s. This disease is prevalent in the older population.
- Mild cognitive impairment
- Insulin resistance
- High blood pressure and high cholesterol
- Sex: Although Alzheimer’s affects both men and women, a higher population of women is affected by this disease more than men. Well, this is because women generally live for longer compared to men.
- Down syndrome: People with Down syndrome are at a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
The early symptoms of this disease is memory loss. Most people start off by forgetting recent conversations and events. But as the disease progresses, the symptoms usually worsen. Common symptoms include:
- Mood changes including irritability and anxiety
- Confusion about place and time
- Fatigue and lack of motivation to perform routine tasks
- Difficulty in learning new things
- Difficulty in processing new information
- Short-term memory loss
- Difficulties in communication
The progressive symptoms include:
- Loss of appetite
- Poor personal hygiene and overall body neglect
- Increased confusion and short-term memory loss
- Feeling of restlessness
- Short attention span and loss of focus
- difficulty recognizing family members and friends
- Personality changes i.e. constant mood swings and aggression
- Constant lack of motivation and inability to perform daily tasks
As the disease reaches a later stage, patients normally experience symptoms such as:
- Increasing sleep time
- Incontinence in fecal matter and urine
- Severe disorientation and confusion
- Inability to communicate
- Inability to understand speech
- Inability to recognize self, family members and friends
Is Cannabis an Effective Treatment for Alzheimer’s disease?
Research reports show that the use of marijuana to treat and manage Alzheimer’s is promising. Cannabis plants have the ability to treat neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s. THC, a psychoactive compound that’s found in marijuana, has shown a high potential in providing a therapeutic effect in patients with this disease. Overall, cannabis can help to treat this cognitive behavior in the following ways.
- THC’s effect on Neural Plaques: THC is a psychoactive compound which has the ability to produce the “high feeling”. Multiple reports from research studies indicate that it can slow down the damaging of neural plaques in the brain.
- CBD’s effect on Cellular Health: CBD is a non-psychoactive compound that’s found in cannabis. This chemical compound contains sedative, analgesic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. All these are beneficial in treating Alzheimer’s disease. Furthermore, CBD has the ability to slow down the progression of cell death that’s associated with Alzheimer’s.
- Improving cellular growth: Cannabinoids in cannabis can stimulate the growth of brain tissue that promotes good memory. For patients with Alzheimer’s, this is good news because they will end up with better memory function as a result of improved neuron growth.
- Treating Inflammation: One of the main contributing factors to the development of Alzheimer’s is inflammation. A high rate of inflammation around the plaque which accumulates around the brain enhance the symptoms of this degenerative disease. However, cannabinoids have the ability to reduce the occurrence of inflammation. In addition to that, these chemical compounds can also slow down the degenerative of cognitive functions.
Overall, cannabis plants have many properties which are beneficial in treating and slowing down the development of this degenerative condition. Cannabis has the ability to promote relaxation and stimulate the appetite. All these are important in improving the quality of life in people with this medical issue. Generally, the cannabis plant helps to:
- Treat insomnia and improve sleep patterns
- Enhance motor functions
- Stimulate appetite
- Reduce irritability, agitation, and aggression
- Promote social engagement and reduce symptoms of anxiety
Best Marijuana Strains for Treating Alzheimer’s Disease
Medical marijuana has compounds that can help to treat Alzheimer’s. Its soothing, relaxing, and mood-balancing effects make it effective in treating degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Patients with Alzheimer’s can use certain strains to ease their symptoms and to slow down its degenerative side effects. Some of the best marijuana strains for treating Alzheimer’s include:
1. Green Crack
This is an indica-dominant strain which has moderate to high THC content i.e. 13-25 percent. Green Crack is a powerful type of marijuana strain whose parents are Skunk#1 and Sweet Leaf Indica. Generally, it has a soothing effect. It produces great “highs” with excellent cerebral effects. This marijuana promotes good moods and also gives you the energy boost that you need to perform tasks. What makes it effective for Alzheimer’s treatment is the low CBD and high THC content. Taking a few hits of this strain will quickly promote better focus. Additionally, it improves memory and minimizes confusion.
2. OG Kush
It’s a hybrid marijuana strain. OG Kush is a powerhouse that can help ease the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Although this Kush has undergone so much evolution, you can trace its origins back to the Hindu Kush and Chemdawg. Just like Green Crack, OG Kush has high THC and low CBD content. This strain’s THC content can hit the highs of 26 percent.
It’s suitable for managing Alzheimer’s disease because it helps to ease stress. Furthermore, OG Kush can also treat ADHD and migraines. It’s normally recommended to patients with this degenerative disease depending on the symptoms as well as the disease’s level of progression.
3. Acapulco Gold
Acapulco gold is a sativa-dominant Kush whose origins are Mexico. It contains less than 1 percent CBD while its THC levels can reach 24 percent. Although this marijuana strain is not very easy to find, using it is highly beneficial in treating Alzheimer’s.
Acapulco gold has the ability to improve focus. It also balances good moods. To Alzheimer’s patients, this is one of the best remedies that produces an almost instant effect. Using it sparks joy and increases the production of energy. The high THC content quickly provides therapeutic effects. Besides that, it has an attractive aroma, this is an earthy and sweet strain which has a pleasant hint of pine. Its delicious creamy taste is important for treating chronic stress.
4. White Russian
It’s a well-balanced marijuana strain with high THC and low CBD content. The 50/50 hybrid contains between 20-25 THC content. White Russian produces great cerebral highs and it will uplift your moods within minutes. It creates a euphoric effect and provides users with an amazing energy boost which can last for hours.
The slightly sativa-dominant strain is good for Alzheimer’s patients because it helps to slow down the damaging effects of this condition. The uplifting highs, as well as good moods, are important in fighting stress and depression. Most creative also love Whit Russian because it promotes focus and acts as a source of inspiration.
5. Purple Kush
The indica-dominant purple Kush is a hybrid marijuana strain. It has attractive purple lives and high THC levels which can hit the highs of 17 percent. Purple Kush is a potent type of marijuana that induces long-lasting relaxing effects. It’s suitable for treating Alzheimer’s diseases because it soothes the body and promotes the feeling of calmness. Additionally, its ability to treat depression and insomnia make it a good source of alternative medicine
The Bottom Line
This neurodegenerative disease usually starts off as mild and then becomes more severe as it progresses. Although Alzheimer’s is currently not curable, using certain strains of marijuana can help to control it. You can take medical cannabis via smoking or ingesting edibles to ease the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and slow down its progression.