As there is currently no known cure, neurodegenerative diseases can feel like a death sentence. The mere thought of them strikes fear into the heart of sufferers and their families, as it’s completely impossible to tell if the medical solutions currently available will succeed in slowing down the progression of these diseases, or at least get a handle on their crippling symptoms. On this that is true is that Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, a component of the cannabis plant, could soon be used to treat three of the most common neurodegenerative diseases: Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s.
Is Cannabidiol Safe?
Using a form of cannabis to treat a mental disorder can seem like an odd concept, while cannabis is known to have psychoactive effects, and is often connected to memory loss. The truth is that the psychoactive side effects and negative factors like memory loss or addiction, all come from a component in cannabis called tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC. THC is the element of cannabis which causes effects like a high, addiction, memory loss, paranoia, and the general stoner effect that is associated with recreational cannabis users. Another component is CBD, and that is entirely different – in fact it counteracts the effects of THC, is perfectly safe and harmless, and is acknowledged as having multiple medical benefits, and is now being explored by scientists around the world. Strains of cannabis are now being developed with higher levels of CBD for medical purposes, while previously the ban on marijuana meant that people growing cannabis were immoral and growing cannabis with dangerously high levels of THC, to provide a more intense high. The difference between THC and CBD can’t be overstated CBD is perfectly safe.
Cannabidiol and Neurodegenerative Diseases
Neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, which causes memory loss, Parkinson’s, which affects motor control and causes uncontrollable tremors, and Huntington’s which leads to physical, mental, and behavioural decline, are extremely hard to treat and control. A lot of these diseases are caused by iron build up in the brain, particularly in the Basal Ganglia, as well as inflammation in certain areas of the brain. CBD can help combat this, first as it is a proven, tried and tested anti inflammation agent, and so reduces any neurodegenerative disorders that are caused by that inflammation. This would include other forms of dementia not included in this list. The second way has most recently been explored by the pontifical Catholic University in Brazil, which focuses on mitochondria, and how the iron build up, which may be genetic, affects them. CBD, in studies, has shown to help the brain recover memory deficits that have been caused by iron. In this way, it not only slows down the neurodegenerative diseases, or deals with the symptoms like other medicine, but cannabis can actually help with recovery and prevention, which has so far proved to be an impossible task.
CBD Vs Other Treatments
While more research is required to fully confirm the extent to which CBD or cannabis can be used to combat neurodegenerative diseases, the main advantage is that it doesn’t only try to manage the symptoms the way other options do, but it can actually treat and create the disease itself. However, until that research is complete, there is still the option of using CBD to manage symptoms too. The aggression, depression, and paranoia and stress that come hand in hand with these conditions can all be managed by CBD which is an anti-stress, ant-psychosis, and calming agent. It’s THC that causes memory loss, not CBD, so it is perfectly safe to use, and as it doesn’t affect the receptors in your brain, it’s impossible for this to speed up the disease’s progression. Instead, while we’re still waiting for doctors to unanimously agree that CBD can stop neurodegenerative diseases in their tracks, it can still have an effect on the symptoms.
While modern medicine and lifestyle changes mean that people have increasingly long life expectancy, a longer life can open the door to neurodegenerative diseases. These diseases most often affect older people, and can be distressing to them and their loved ones. Take back control of the lives of everyone involved by trying CBD, and tackling neurodegenerative diseases with this controversial but effective treatment.