How to Use CBD for Alzheimer’s Disease & Dementia

The number of people living with Alzheimers is growing rapidly—in fact, every 65 seconds someone in the U.S. develops Alzheimers disease (AD). Many are familiar with the symptoms of this disease, which include memory loss and confusion. However, the limited effectiveness of current therapies against AD has spurred further research into developing new agents for preventing and slowing the disease process. In this article, we’ll analyze the latest research to see if CBD provides a viable alternative to traditional treatments for AD and dementia. These studies evaluated CBD’s medical efficacy in treating those who suffer from AD and dementia. We will address the results below.

Study Results

A 2004 study highlighted the neuroprotective effects of CBD they relate to AD. “Alzheimer’s disease is widely held to be associated with oxidative stress due, in part, to the membrane action of beta-amyloid peptide aggregates…Our results indicate that cannabidiol exerts a combination of neuroprotective, anti-oxidative and anti-apoptotic effects against beta-amyloid peptide toxicity…” In other words, CBD helps prevent the onset of AD by limiting the effects of beta-amyloid peptide toxicity, the major cause of the disease.

Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15030397

A 2012 study evaluated the therapeutic potential of the endocannabinoid system for Alzheimers disease. “Based on the complex pathology of AD, a preventative, multimodal drug approach targeting a combination of pathological AD symptoms appears ideal. Importantly, cannabinoids show anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective and antioxidant properties and have immunosuppressive effects. Thus, the cannabinoid system should be a prime target for AD therapy…Furthermore, the phytocannabinoid cannabidiol is of particular interest as it lacks the psychoactive and cognition-impairing properties of other cannabinoids.”

Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22448595

A 2014 study found that long-term CBD treatment prevents the development of social recognition memory deficits in Alzheimer’s disease transgenic mice. “Control and AD transgenic mice were treated orally from 2.5 months of age with CBD (20 mg/kg) daily for 8 months…This study is the first to demonstrate CBD’s ability to prevent the development of a social recognition deficit in AD transgenic mice. Our findings provide the first evidence that CBD may have potential as a preventative treatment for AD with a particular relevance for symptoms of social withdrawal and facial recognition.”

Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25024347

A 2017 study looked at the evidence for therapeutic properties of CBD for Alzheimers Disease. The studies “demonstrate the ability of CBD to reduce reactive gliosis and the neuroinflammatory response as well as to promote neurogenesis. Importantly, CBD also reverses and prevents the development of cognitive deficits in AD rodent models. Interestingly, combination therapies of CBD and THC, the main active ingredient of cannabis sativa, show that CBD can antagonize the psychoactive effects associated with THC and possibly mediate greater therapeutic benefits than either phytocannabinoid alone. The studies provide “proof of principle” that CBD and possibly CBD-THC combinations are valid candidates for novel AD therapies. Further investigations should address the long-term potential of CBD and evaluate mechanisms involved in the therapeutic effects described.”

Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5289988/

Another 2017 study evaluated CBD’s effect on the expression of Alzheimer’s Disease-related genes in stem cells. “CBD pre-treatment in GMSCs [mesenchymal stem cells derived from gingival] modulated the transcriptional profile of these cells by attenuating the expression of genes implicated in the etiopathogenesis of AD. In conclusion, this preliminary in vitro study has demonstrated that GMSCs preconditioned with CBD have better therapeutic potential compared to CTR-GMSCs cells, and we believe that their transplantation in the early stage of AD may play a role in preventing or attenuating the disease onset.”

Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5297661/

A 2018 study demonstrates for the first time that “cannabidiol (CBD) acts to protect synaptic plasticity in an in vitro model of Alzheimer’s disease…Our data suggests that this major component of Cannabis sativa, which lacks psychoactivity may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of AD.”

Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29574668

As indicated by the studies above, CBD has neuroprotective properties that are effective in preventing and treating AD and dementia.

Recommended CBD Regimen for Alzheimer’s Disease

When formulating a CBD regimen for a specific disease or illness like Alzheimer’s disease, it’s important to understand that CBD should be used regularly for maximum relief. Meaning it should be used as a preventative first – it can also be used to manage acute symptom flare ups, but the preventative maintenance is most important! Think about it like any other dietary supplement or medication, you want to establish a baseline concentration in your system.

Daily Maintenance

In order to manage the symptoms associated with AD and dementia, we recommend ingesting full spectrum CBD oil daily in the form of Tinctures or Gel Capsules. The ingredients in the two products are the same; the only difference between the two is the form factor and dosage – pills vs. sublingual tinctures. We suggest those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease start with 15mg per day of CBD. If relief is not felt at this dosage, we suggest increasing by 5-10mg until the desired effects are achieved. You’ll notice that the Gel Capsules are pre-filled and contain either 15mg or 25mg of CBD per pill. There is no harm in starting above the 15mg CBD threshold as you cannot overdose on CBD, nor are there any serious side effects. These ingestible products provide sustained symptom relief for several hours – many people find they provide relief for the whole day! The one thing to keep in mind with ingestible CBD products is the delayed onset time – it can take up to 90 minutes for the full effects of the tinctures or capsules to be felt.

Managing Acute Symptom Flare Ups

In addition to the daily Alzheimer’s disease management program outlined above, many people find they still need a safe way to manage acute flare ups. Regardless of the triggers, we recommend vaporizing CBD to combat these acute AD and dementia flare ups. The benefit of vaporizing or dabbing CBD is that the relief can be felt almost instantaneously. We suggest either the 99% pure CBD isolate or the pre-filled CBD vaporizer cartridges because they provide a wave of relief that can be felt throughout the whole body.

You can also ingest more CBD in the form of tinctures or gel capsules to combat these episodes; just keep in mind that the onset time will be significantly longer than vaporizing.

A Quick Note About CBD & Drug Testing

Much of the data we have about CBD is anecdotal, and its potential impact on drug testing is no exception.  There are very few peer-reviewed studies on the subject, and the ones available paint a rather murky picture:  avoiding full-spectrum products containing traces of THC can reduce the risk of a false positive, but that may not eliminate that risk entirely.

If you are concerned about your loved one’s ability to pass a drug test, you’ll need to consider this potential risk when deciding whether CBD is right for them. To learn more about the science of CBD and drug testing, check out our article for a more thorough discussion of how to minimize the risk of a false positive.

CBD For Crohn’s Disease & Colitis

How Does Cannabis Help With Crohn’s Disease and Colitis?

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is an umbrella term for two major conditions known as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. These diseases are characterized by chronic inflammation in all or parts of the digestive tract. According to the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2015, an estimated 1.3% of US adults (3 million) reported being diagnosed with IBD (either Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis).

The symptoms associated with these gastrointestinal diseases can be extremely uncomfortable and at times, debilitating. These diseases cannot be cured; however, their symptoms are typically managed with immunosuppressive or anti-inflammatory drugs. The downside is that these drugs don’t always work and many carry long lists of side-effects—but there is hope! CBD offers an all natural, plant-based remedy for gastrointestinal issues.

In order to gauge the medical efficacy of treating IBD with CBD, we turn to a series of medical studies conducted over the past ten years. The results are addressed below:

What Studies Exist to Support the Use of CBD in Crohn’s Disease and Colitis?

CBD was actually discovered before THC, but most research was focused on the psychoactive cannabinoid until the last decade. Now, research regarding CBD’s medicinal value is on the rise, and researchers are particularly interested in the use of CBD for digestive issues and related conditions. Evidence regarding the way that CBD interacts through the body, via the endocannabinoid system, and the way it regulates crucial processes led researchers to believe that CBD could be useful for the management of Crohn’s disease and colitis. 

 

In fact, research exists that suggests cannabidiol could even be a suitable option for managing digestive issues that are otherwise resistant to treatment. Evidence even suggests that conditions like this, as well as irritable bowel syndrome and related conditions,  may be linked to an endocannabinoid deficiency. That means CBD may help balance the endocannabinoid system to bring relief and help the digestive tract function as it should.

 

While the link between digestive issues and cannabis is one area of cannabinoid research that has a substantial amount of evidence, there’s still more to know. Research efforts regarding CBD and its effects on digestion, as well as inflammation and pain caused by Crohn’s disease and related issues will continue to grow in the coming years. For now, though, the following studies provide a solid link between CBD and Crohn’s disease and colitis:

1. Clinical endocannabinoid deficiency (CECD): can this concept explain therapeutic benefits of cannabis in migraine, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome and other treatment-resistant conditions?

A 2008 study suggested that diseases like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) are actually caused by an endocannabinoid deficiency in the body. “Migraine, fibromyalgia, IBS and related conditions display common clinical, biochemical and pathophysiological patterns that suggest an underlying clinical endocannabinoid deficiency that may be suitably treated with cannabinoid medicines.”

Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18404144

2. Cannabidiol, a safe and non-psychotropic ingredient of the marijuana plant Cannabis sativa, is protective in a murine model of colitis.

A 2009 study found investigated the effect of CBD in a murine model of colitis. The study results indicate, “In DNBS-induced colitis, cannabidiol reduced colon injury, decreased expression of inflammatory markers and inducible nitric oxide synthase, and decreased reactive oxygen species production…In conclusion, cannabidiol, a likely safe compound, prevents experimental colitis in mice.”

Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19690824/

 

3. The effects of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol alone and in combination on damage, inflammation and in vitro motility disturbances in rat colitis

A 2010 study evaluated the effects of CBD and THC (alone and combined) in animal models of colitis. “In conclusion, treatment with THC, CBD and sulphasalazine reduced signs of damage, inflammation and functional disturbances in a rat model of Crohn’s disease…CBD on its own also displayed beneficial actions, such as improved spontaneous activity and contractility to carbachol, which extends previous findings (Malfait et al., 2000; Borrelli et al., 2009) and further suggests that this phytocannabinoid, which is devoid of psychoactive properties, could help alleviate symptoms in human IBD. Combined treatment with CBD and THC proved beneficial in TNBS-induced colitis in the rat, as it resulted in additive effects on some functional parameters and as CBD caused an ineffective dose of THC (5 mg·kg−1) to produce beneficial effects of the same magnitude as those produced by a higher dose of THC (10 mg·kg−1) in the absence of CBD. It is possible therefore that the benefit-to-risk ratio may well be greater when CBD and THC are co-administered to ameliorate colitis than when THC is administered alone.”

Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2931570/

 

4. Cannabidiol reduces intestinal inflammation through the control of neuroimmune axis.

A 2011 study proved that CBD reduces intentinal inflammation in both humans and mice through control of the neuroimmune axis. The study states, “CBD targets enteric reactive gliosis, counteracts the inflammatory environment induced by LPS in mice and in human colonic cultures derived from UC patients. These actions lead to a reduction of intestinal damage mediated by PPARgamma receptor pathway. Our results therefore indicate that CBD indeed unravels a new therapeutic strategy to treat inflammatory bowel diseases.”

Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22163000/

 

5. An Orally Active Cannabis Extract with High Content in Cannabidiol attenuates Chemically-induced Intestinal Inflammation and Hypermotility in the Mouse.

A 2016 study found that high CBD extracts reduce chemically induced intestinal inflammation and hypermotility in mice. “In conclusion, CBD Botanical Drug Substance (BDS), given after the inflammatory insult, attenuates injury and motility in intestinal models of inflammation. These findings sustain the rationale of combining CBD with other minor Cannabis constituents and support the clinical development of CBD BDS for IBD treatment.”

Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27757083/

 

6. Cannabidiol in inflammatory bowel diseases: a brief overview.

A 2013 medical review further substantiated CBD’s potential as an anti-inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) drug. “CBD is a very promising compound since it shares the typical cannabinoid beneficial effects on gut lacking any psychotropic effects. For years, its activity has been enigmatic for gastroenterologists and pharmacologists, but now it is evident that this compound may interact at extra-cannabinoid system receptor sites, such as peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma. This strategic interaction makes CBD as a potential candidate for the development of a new class of anti-IBD drugs.”

Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22815234

 

7. Topical and Systemic Cannabidiol Improves Trinitrobenzene Sulfonic Acid Colitis in Mice

A 2012 study concluded that topical and systemic (but not oral) CBD improves colitis in mice. “To summarize, CBD was given via 3 different routes of delivery to mice and its effect on the severity of TNBS colitis was compared. We confirm that CBD given intraperitoneally is protective, and we add that CBD given per rectum also offers protective effects, suggesting that rectal application of cannabinoids for the therapy of intestinal inflammation may be a feasible option.”

Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3668621/

As indicated by the studies above, CBD has proven to be very effective in treating various types of inflammatory bowel diseases.

Which CBD products help with Crohn’s disease and colitis?

As you decide how to incorporate CBD into your wellness routine, you should keep in mind that CBD works best when used preventatively. That means CBD should be used regularly for maximum relief. You can also use CBD to manage sudden flare-ups, but establishing a regular concentration in your body is necessary to reap the protective benefits of the cannabinoid.

There’s an ocean of CBD products on the market, but for managing digestive issues, we recommend ingesting full spectrum CBD oil daily in the form of tinctures or gel capsules

These products are virtually the same. They simply offer two different styles of dosing, and choosing the best one for you is based on preference. Just ensure that any CBD product you choose combines cannabidiol with a high-quality MCT oil—an ingredient your body needs to effectively process CBD.

After implementing a regular dosing routine, many people still find that they need to manage occasional flares. Depending on your preference, there are multiple ways that you can use CBD to provide relief from these acute symptoms. 

No matter the cause – we recommend vaporizing CBD isolate to combat these acute anxiety flare-ups. CBD isolate is a version of cannabidiol that is 99% pure, and vaping provides near immediate results, delivering relief to the entire body.

If you prefer, you can increase your dose of CBD tincture or gel caps to combat these flares, but you should note that they have a significantly longer onset of up to 90 minutes. 

Often, the best way to manage moderate to severe symptoms related to colitis or Crohn’s disease is to combine multiple CBD products. The right combination of products can help provide preventative coverage and powerful relief from sudden symptoms. Below are some of our favorite CBD products that may be useful for managing digestive issues.

What is the correct CBD dosage to help treat Crohn’s disease and colitis?

Choosing the correct dosage for you requires careful consideration of some unique biological factors, like your weight and tolerance to cannabinoid-based medicines. Additionally, the type and severity of your condition will affect the amount of CBD needed to find relief. 

We suggest those suffering from Crohn’s disease or related conditions start with 15mg per day of CBD. If relief is not felt at this dosage, we suggest increasing by 5-10mg until the desired effects are achieved. A tincture makes it easy to increase or decrease your dose by tiny amounts, so it’s a perfect option for those experimenting with different dosages. 

CBD capsules are convenient in that they provide a pre-measured dose, so many people opt for them instead. There’s no harm in starting at whatever dose the capsules you choose offers because you cannot overdose on CBD and side effects are reportedly rare and mild. 

After you’ve established a routine, you can increase the dose as needed to fully manage symptoms. Don’t forget that ingestible products take up to 90 minutes to fully set in. Be sure to allow plenty of time after each dose to monitor the effects before making adjustments to your dose.  

CBD vaporizers call for a different dosing method because it’s difficult to monitor the exact amount of CBD in each puff. Because it takes only 10 minutes to feel the effects of vaporized CBD, you can easily decide if more CBD is needed soon after each dose. Stack doses as needed until you experience complete relief from symptoms. 

A Note About CBD and Drug Interactions

CBD boasts a pretty solid safety profile that’s even supported by the World Health Organization, but perhaps the most notable risk is its potential to interact with certain medications. Like many medications, CBD is metabolized by the cytochrome P450 liver enzyme group. As it is processed by the body, it may reduce the number of enzymes available to metabolize other substances. This can potentially impact other medications by reducing their efficacy. 

This interaction could prove true for some of the medications taken for Crohn’s disease, colitis, and other digestive issues, which utilize cytochrome P450 pathways for absorption. These drug interactions are not toxic, and could only be considered dangerous if it inhibits a life-saving medication’s efficacy. 

CBD only affects these liver enzymes briefly, and many people are able to avoid the interactions by simply spacing out their CBD dose and other medications. Many people are able to use CBD with their regular medications with no report of significant interactions. It’s always best to speak with your doctor about CBD before you combine it with your regular medications, just to fully understand the benefits and risks. 

CBD Dosage: Which CBD Helps Which Disease?

You may have heard about CBD and how it helps people manage pain, inflammation, nausea, and all these great things. But how do you know what to buy and how much to take if there are no doctors willing to sit down and create a custom regimen just for you? While it may seem daunting, when it comes to CBD, finding the correct dosage is a relatively simple process.

Our best advice is to start small and work your way up until you find the volume of CBD and mix of consumption methods that delivers the relief you desire. The benefit to this method is you can find your sweet spot without overdoing it, and then maintain a consistent daily dose. The best part about medicating with CBD is it’s impossible to overdose, which makes it a very safe process. Plus, CBD is not inherently addictive so there’s very minimal risk of developing dependency issues.

How much should I take?

For orally ingested products like Tinctures and Gel Caps, we suggest starting with 15mg per day of CBD and upping the dosage until relief is felt. These ingestible products provide sustained relief for several hours – many people find they provide relief for the whole day! The one thing to keep in mind with ingestible CBD products is the delayed onset time – it can take up to 90 minutes for the full effects of the tinctures or capsules to be felt.

For topical products like salves, sprays, and soaks, you can apply as liberally and frequently as needed – there’s no risk of overdoing it!

Why Is it Impossible to Overdose?

You already have an endocannabinoid system whose sole purpose to maintain equilibrium, or homeostasis, in your body. CBD nourishes this system. CBD is non-toxic. No fatal overdose levels have ever been reported. Learn more about the safety of CBD here.

What kinds of CBD are there?

Please refer to our CBD Consumption Guide to learn more about the different products like tinctures, sprays, salves, and soaks.

Which Product Should I Buy?

The savvy consumers have realized that the best, most consistent and effective relief comes from a multi-pronged approach where you treat your condition with a mix of products. The idea being that some products provide instant relief for a short amount of time, while others have a longer onset time but provide relief for the entire day.

What Ailment are You Addressing?

PTSD: More sleep, less nightmares CBD for PTSD Guide

Cancer: How CBD can help CBD for Cancer Guide

Anxiety & associated types (general, social, etc): CBD for Anxiety Guide

Depression: Read our full CBD for Depression Guide

Rheumatoid arthritis and carpal tunnel: Read our full CBD for Arthritis Guide

Migraines: Read our full CBD for Migraines Guide

Insomnia & sleep apnea: Read our full CBD for Insomnia Guide

Pain Management: Read our full CBD for Pain Guide

Weaning off painkillers: 50% of people say CBD Works Better

Pets: How CBD can Increase their quality of life

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): Read our full CBD for IBD Guide

Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Read our full CBD for Alzheimer’s Guide

Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorders: Read our full CBD and ADHD Guide

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI): Read our full CBD for Concussions Guide

Schizophrenia’s Negative Symptoms: Read our full CBD for Schizophrenia Guide

Sporadic vs Consistent Dosing: Do I have to take it every day?

You’ll receive exponential benefits with a daily regimen as compared to sporadic or occasional usage. If you need help choosing the best type of CBD for you, check out of CBD Consumption Guide that covers different consumption methods.

Is this legal? What about drug tests?

If drug testing is a part of the conditions of your employment, you might be concerned about the potential of CBD to cause you to test positive for THC. This isn’t a totally unfounded concern — however, there isn’t exactly a cut-and-dry way to answer it.

Much of the data we have about CBD is anecdotal, and its potential impact on drug testing is no exception.  There are very few peer-reviewed studies on the subject, but there appears to be a small risk of a false positive for some users. Avoiding full-spectrum products containing traces of THC can reduce your risk of a false positive, but that may not eliminate the risk entirely.

If you are concerned about passing a drug test, you should consider this potential risk when deciding whether CBD is right for you. To learn more about the science of CBD and drug testing, check out our article for a more thorough discussion of how to minimize your risk of a false positive.