Can Medical Marijuana Help Seniors With Dementia?

Updated on September 6, 2021

Recently, medical marijuana has gained a lot of controversies. There are people who look askance at it, and there are those who admit its benefits to one’s health. Nevertheless, it has already been proven that this kind of marijuana helps reduce nausea during chemotherapy, reduces chronic pain, treats epilepsy, relieves stress, and helps to cope with depression.

In many countries and most of the US states, MMJ is legal and freely accessible. For instance, you can easily find medical marijuana in every New York City or Las Vegas dispensary

Many questions arise when it comes to medical cannabis. And one of them is whether it helps people with dementia. And you can find the answer to this question below:

What Is Dementia?

Dementia is an umbrella term for the conditions related to a decline in memory, language, and other cognitive abilities of a person. One of the most common examples of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, which is a chronic illness that starts slowly and progresses with time.

The most vulnerable part of the population who suffer from this disease are seniors. However, there are also cases of young-onset dementia.

What Are The Symptoms Of Dementia?

As has already been mentioned, the illness influences one’s cognitive abilities. Therefore, one may have problems with short-term memory. It means that remembering recent events will be difficult, while the ones from the past will stay in the memory.

Those who have dementia also struggle with being concentrated and paying attention to different things. Thereby, if one has this illness, they are more likely to feel disoriented and confused.

Everyday tasks become much more difficult to be performed. For instance, one may suddenly find themselves struggling to dial a phone number or cannot remember if they put salt into the meal.

Struggling to find the right word sometimes is normal. It might happen to everyone. But if a person suddenly forgets basic words or uses the ones that do not fit the context, and it happens too often,  it might be a sign of dementia.

Abrupt and unexpected mood swings that happen too frequently can also mean that a person suffers from the disease we are talking about today.

What Are The Causes Of Dementia?

Let’s try to put it in simple words:

The complexity of our brain is impressive. Like a highly-developed computer, it processes tons of information every second, it constantly gives us signals of what to do and how to behave. It is the brain that is responsible for the cognitive abilities humans have.

What happens when some brain cells are damaged? 

When a central processing unit of your computer gets damaged, many of the functions stop processing properly. The same scenario occurs to the human body.

Our brains are very similar to the CPU computers have. If some brain cells get by some reason damaged, the cognitive abilities ‘do not work properly’ either. Each area of the cerebrum is responsible for a different function. Therefore, the problems a person has always depend on the part that has been damaged.

How Can Medical Marijuana Help With Dementia?

According to the research made in 2019 in Ottawa, Canada, medical cannabis does not cure dementia itself, but it ‘is effective for treating neuropsychiatric symptoms associated with dementia’. The list of the symptoms MMJ can get rid of includes irritability, nocturnal behavior disorders, agitation, etc. The study has also proven the safety of the medical cannabis intake. 

In other words, MMJ does not cure one’s brain cells, but it does help to get rid of the symptoms their damage creates. Therefore, this option has great potential for being included in the list of medications prescribed for those who suffer from dementia.

The legal restrictions of many countries still do not make the most favourable circumstances to conduct more research when it comes to medical marijuana in the context of human cognitive disorders. Hopefully, in the near future, with the development of medicine, the question will be finally resolved. 

The Last Thing

The usage of home remedies might be very harmful to your health. Even if the symptoms seem obvious, never try to guess the diagnosis you have. Every medication you take should be prescribed by a doctor.

Very often, the symptoms can be very misleading and be a sign of a more serious illness than you expect. Trust the issue to a medical specialist before it’s too late. Only a doctor can make a correct diagnosis and prescribe you the appropriate medication. 

If you decide to take medical marijuana as a remedy from other problems not related to dementia, such as stress, depression, eating, or sleep disorders, consulting a doctor is still a must. Let your safety be the priority. 

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