Dementia is caused by damage to the brain which limits brain cells from communicating with one another and affects cognitions, feelings, and behaviors. Dementia is often used as a blanket term containing specific conditions such as Alzheimer's disease and Vascular dementia. The different forms of dementia correspond to which part of the brain is experiencing changes and have different effects. For example, Alzheimer’s disease often causes difficulties with remembering new information, whereas Vascular dementia tends to cause more confusion, disorientation, and difficulty speaking. Considering memory is a largely affected factor with dementia, the use of marijuana as a treatment is a tricky one. A few studies have shown that marijuana can help reduce aggression and other behavioral symptoms in those with dementia. However, it has been suggested that long-term cannabis use can affect cognition and memory, which may be harmful to those with dementia. Similar to most research topics regarding marijuana, there is limited data supporting the use of marijuana for an individual with dementia, and further research should be conducted.
Broers, B., Patà, Z., Mina, A., Wampfler, J., de Saussure, C., & Pautex, S. (2019). Prescription of a THC/CBD-based medication to patients with dementia: A pilot study in Geneva. Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids, 2(1), 56-59. https://doi.org/10.1159/000498924
Shelef, A., Barak, Y., Berger, U., Paleacu, D., Tadger, S., Plopsky, I., & Baruch, Y. (2016). Safety and efficacy of medical cannabis oil for behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia: An-open label, add-on, pilot study. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 51(1), 15-19. https://doi.org/10.3233/JAD-150915
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