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December 02, 2020
Dementia has been the subject of intense scientific study since the 1990s. A broad term that includes Alzheimer's disease; dementia occurs when damaged brain cells stop communicating with each other.
Other health problems can contribute, including infections, vascular diseases, stroke, depression, or long-term drug dependence.
While younger people can develop dementia or Alzheimer's, it is more common with age. However, it is NOT a normal part of aging. Depending on the cause, symptoms of dementia can be slowed or reversed.
We'll look at the nuts and bolts of brain health and how CBD and plant terpenes can support healthy brain function.
Scientists are not certain what causes dementia. However, they have made progress in preventing and slowing the disease. The steps you would take to support your overall well-being also stave off dementia.
Experts at Stanford Health Care recommend the following as preventative measures:
One of the most remarkable findings of dementia and memory research is about adult brain plasticity and neurogenesis. Science used to consider the adult brain as fixed. You could make new neural connections (memories), but the brain's growth and development was deemed to be static after the teenage years.
A study published in 2000 broke open these outdated ideas. In London, cabbies often study for two to four years to master the complicated routes and traffic patterns they need to know to pass the licensing test. Scientists demonstrated that the cabbies' brains did grow and develop in two ways:
Confirmed by multiple subsequent studies, researchers now know that while adult brains do not grow as readily and easily as children's do, we stimulate our minds every time we experience or learn something new.
The brain is like a muscle, work it, and it gets stronger.
In 2001 the United States government filed a patent for cannabinoids, including CBD, for their antioxidant and neuroprotective benefits. The patent explicitly mentions Alzheimer's and dementia as potential applications for non-psychoactive CBD and other cannabinoids.
Research into CBD to combat dementia is just beginning. Even so, there are some interesting findings.
Ninety percent of patients with dementia go through a period of behavioral and psychological symptoms like severe anxiety and frustration. Common among Alzheimer's patients, this agitation can be dangerous both to patients and caregivers.
Traditional mood-stabilizing agents help sometimes, but the side effects can be significant in elderly and compromised patients. Several studies and clinical experiences show CBD oil to soothe and calm agitated dementia patients. Easing the uncontrolled agitation protects them, their family, and caregivers.
Although CBD's exact mechanism of effectiveness is not fully understood yet, research surmises the confused and violent behavior stems from brain inflammation. Since CBD is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, the hypothesis is that it helps ease the brain swelling to reduce symptoms of agitation.
CBD interacts with the human endocannabinoid system's receptors in the brain. It works as a brain stimulant and neuroprotective. Studies show CBD can increase synaptic activity and facilitates neurogenesis (the production of new neurons).
CBD is also neuroprotective, meaning it protects the brain's structure and function and slows the loss of neurons. In several studies with animals, CBD prevented brain damage. In a study with rats it stimulated the production of new neural stem cells and helped integrate these new neurons into the adult brain.
When scientists look at an Alzheimer's patient's brain after they passed on, one key indicator of the disease is clumps of a protein called amyloid.
A study that gave both THC and CBD oil to mice with Alzheimer's disease symptoms showed improved learning and less evidence of amyloid clumps in their bodies.
With potent anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, neuroprotective, and regenerative properties, CBD offers aid to current dementia patients and helps keep our brains healthy.
At Jampha, we infuse each of our organic full-spectrum CBD products with a targeted entourage of dynamic plant terpenes. In addition to CBD, these terpenes bring their brain benefits. Preliminary studies show neuroprotective and other brain-benefitting properties of some of the terpenes we use.
In addition to its anti-inflammatory, cell healing, and tumor-fighting properties, b-caryophyllene shows promise as a neuroprotective agent with possible applications for Alzheimer's patients.
Studies on citral indicate it can help manage immune-inflammatory conditions. Since inflammation is increasingly seen as a central mechanism in Alzheimer's, reducing immune inflammation prevents and can potentially treat dementia.
Citronellol and geraniol demonstrate neuroprotective properties. Researchers say they provide a natural template to treat neurological diseases.
Eucalyptol is a systemic anti-inflammatory that reduces oxidative stress and fights neurodegenerative diseases.
Eugenol is a plant molecule that can pass right through the blood-brain barrier. Combined with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, eugenol can be used as a carrier to deliver drugs to the brain.
Limonene reduces brain inflammation and protects the brain against toxicity.
In a study on mice with Alzheimer's, linalool reversed both neuropathological and behavioral impairments.
Myrcene acts as a neuroprotective. It reduces oxidative damage and slows cell death in the brain.
With robust anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, nerolidol reduced the inflammation in rats' brains and protected them from oxidative stress.
Phytol is under study as a possible alternative treatment for Alzheimer's patients. It disrupts the amyloid proteins that accumulate in the bodies of people with Alzheimer's.
The terpene pulegone improves cognitive function and memory and helps your brain make new neural connections.
In studies done on rats, terpinolene fights brain cancer and reduces oxidative stress.
The best defense against illness and disease, including dementia, is a healthy lifestyle. However, most of us face obligations and conditions that don't always allow a diet of fresh foods and regular exercise. We do the best we can.
Fortunately, we have the harnessed power of plant molecules on our side. Traditional medicine has relied on CBD and terpenes for centuries through agents like hemp, ginger, chamomile, and garlic. Modern science helps us understand how these molecules work and shows us new ways to use them.
While we don't yet have a cure for Alzheimer's and dementia, scientists are learning that the brain is more resilient and capable of healing than previously believed. Plant molecules, like CBD, are already helping some patients. As research continues, they may prove to end dementia and help us maintain mental sharpness at any age.
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