Pure Craft CBD offers CBD Oil 1000mg & 2000mg flavored CBD tinctures, CBD Gummy Bears, CBD Oil for Dogs and more! Discover Pure Craft CBD PURE CRAFT BLOG 14 Best CBD Oils for Dementia Learn about CBD oil, vapor and pills as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
Can CBD Help With Alzheimer’s & Dementia?
With no known cure and challenges in managing symptoms, patients and families are desperate for anything that might help. So it’s not surprising that CBD has found itself among the long list of potential treatments being explored for Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Can CBD do anything for people with dementia? Here’s what we know so far.
Dementia is the umbrella term for a set of symptoms dealing with a decline in cognitive function. This can include memory loss, difficulties with engaging in daily tasks, and changes in communication.
It primarily impacts older adults, though it isn’t a normal part of aging.
Dementia is quite common, with an estimated 5 million adults in the United States living with the condition.(2)
The symptoms of dementia generally cluster around cognitive and communication problems and challenges. And, symptoms usually worsen over time.
Common symptoms include issues with:(2)
While it’s normal to have age-related memory changes, dementia patients tend to have more serious memory loss issues. For instance, they may forget how to get home or the name of a close family member.
Dementia Risk Factors
It’s thought that dementia is caused by damage or loss of the brain’s nerve cells. Exactly why this happens isn’t clear, but the following things increase your chances of getting dementia:(2)
- Cardiovascular issues
- Traumatic brain injury
- Family history of dementia
- Race/ethnicity (African Americans are 2x more likely to develop dementia than white Americans.)
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, with about 60-80% of dementia cases attributed to Alzheimer’s.(2) Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, meaning that it gets worse over time.
The buildup of beta-amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain are thought to contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s. Chronic inflammation in the brain is also suspected of advancing the disease.(3)
There’s unfortunately no cure for dementia, but different treatments exist to help ease symptoms, manage the disease, and improve quality of life. There’s a huge need for research into this area of neurodegenerative diseases so new, effective treatments can be discovered.
Prevention is not guaranteed — but living a healthy lifestyle can lower your risk. Some of the things that can lower your risk of developing dementia include:(4)
- Keeping the brain engaged through puzzles, word games, and reading
- Regular exercise
- Getting enough vitamins, especially vitamin D
- Keeping a healthy diet
- Managing any cardiovascular issues
- Getting enough sleep
The Endocannabinoid System & Dementia
Neurodegenerative diseases like Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, vascular dementia, and Alzheimer’s are associated with the endocannabinoid system.(5) And studies on Alzheimer’s patients are finding changes in the way the endocannabinoid system (ECS) functions.(6)
The body can produce its own cannabinoids. These endocannabinoids help the body regulate many different functions. At the same time, phytocannabinoids like CBD can also interact with the body’s ECS. And cannabinoids like CBD have shown that they may have neuroprotective properties.(7)
This may be why scientists are investigating whether CBD could help to treat Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Lab Research On Alzheimer’s
One 2016 study found that cannabis compounds, particularly THC, facilitated the removal of beta-amyloid — the protein that forms plaques in Alzheimer’s patients’ brains.(8)
Studies like these suggest that cannabinoids may have neuroprotective properties that might reduce inflammation and beta-amyloid accumulation.
This particular study was done in lab-grown neuron cells, so naturally, more research is needed to know how the results would translate into human patients.
Cannabis & Alzheimer’s
Other studies have looked at how cannabinoids can affect Alzheimer’s patients’ quality of life. One study on patients with moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease found that nabilone (synthetic medical form of THC) helped significantly reduce agitation and improved overall behavioral symptoms.(9)
Others have looked into cannabis as a whole, with some experts suggesting that CBD with THC may be more beneficial than just using CBD or THC alone.(10)
CBD For Alzheimer’s & Dementia
In 2020, a randomized clinical trial began to investigate CBD’s effectiveness in reducing agitation in patients with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.(11) Study participants are either given a CBD oil (containing no THC) or a placebo.
The hemp-derived CBD capsules are being given for 6 weeks. The dose is set to 15mg twice a day, and will go up to 45mg twice a day.
The study aims to measure seven outcomes:
- Changes in agitation and aggression
- Change in caregiver burden
- Change in patient’s quality of life
- Change in caregiver’s quality of life
- Changes in cognitive skills
- Impact to sleep
- Changes to neuropsychiatric symptoms
If the study shows promising results, it could pave the way for more research on CBD as a treatment for Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
The study is estimated to be completed in February 2023. Stay tuned!
Tips In Incorporating CBD Into Your Wellness Plan
CBD doesn’t yet have an approved use in the treatment of dementia. But some research shows that it might help ease the aggression that comes with Alzheimer’s disease. It may also offer some other benefits like easing stress and chronic pain.
If you want to access the potential plant benefits of this cannabinoid, follow these guidelines:
- Consult with your medical team first. CBD may interact with various medications so be sure to get the OK from the doc.
- Find a quality CBD retailer. Look for organic hemp-derived products, with high bioavailability for the best absorption.
- Find your best form of CBD. This could be isolate CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, or full-spectrum CBD. Read our guide Different Types of CBD: Full-Spectrum, Broad-Spectrum & Isolate to learn more.
- Choose a CBD product that works with your wellness routine.CBD oil, CBD softgels, and CBD gummies are all viable options. For more guidance, check out Which CBD Product is Right For You: CBD Tinctures, Gummies, Topicals & Softgels.
CBD & Dementia: The Bottom Line
There’s no evidence yet that CBD can prevent or reverse Alzheimer’s and other dementias. But it might help alleviate some of the unpleasant symptoms that accompany it.
Most research on CBD and dementia has found that CBD and cannabis may reduce irritability and aggression among dementia and Alzheimer’s patients. Research has also found neuroprotective qualities in cannabidiol, so this bodes well for future investigations into the compound.
For anyone considering CBD, know that it’s no replacement for traditional medications — but it could be a complementary wellness tool to help you boost overall well-being.
14 Best CBD Oils for Dementia
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Discover Magazine’s Best CBD Oil For Dementia: PenguinCBD
Dementia is a condition that is as painful for the sufferer as it is for everyone around him or her. Before we start, it should be stressed that currently there is no cure for the ravages of dementia. However, there are many promising treatments on the horizon, both with regards to treating the underlying condition, and in easing the many symptoms it brings forth.
Since we are left with precious little in the way of traditional medicine to help the suffers find some relief from the condition, it has become the role of alternative therapeutics to help bring some comfort to those battling these conditions. CBD is rapidly becoming one of the favored treatments for dealing with many of the side effects brought on by dementia, even though it doesn’t treat the underlying condition. Here are some of the ways it can help improve the lives of those dealing with dementia.
Anxiety is one of the most common symptoms people with dementia face as the condition sets in. CBD oil, when used directly and in a wide variety of foods and drinks, has been shown to help deal with anxiety for anyone using it. It is a common home remedy used for those dealing with both acute and chronic anxiety, often bringing relief when more traditional medications have failed to have a noticeable impact.
In fact, many members of our team use CBD oil to treat anxiety generally. It is a simple remedy that is highly portable, making it easy to stick in a pocket or bag and pull out whenever needed. A dose can be easily measured out, added to our favorite food and drink, and consumed within seconds.
This is an important point when working with those living with dementia. They may develop problems taking pills, or have a general animosity to medicines at large, but will gladly drink their favorite cup of tea. All the caregiver needs to do is measure in a dose and mix it thoroughly. The recipient doesn’t have to know, and in just a matter of minutes will be experiencing the relaxing properties of CBD without having to worry about any of the nasty side effects that can come with traditional treatments.
Depression is among the most common comorbidities for many forms of dementia. For good reason, since depression is usually the result of reduced/negatively impacted functioning of the brain. When it is literally damaging itself, some form of depression shouldn’t be unexpected. The one thing that has surprised many researchers and medical professionals is the dangers inherent in treating dementia-related depression with traditional medications.
Many treatments have been found to cause extreme side effects, up to and including death. As such, treating depression in many cases turns out to be a palliative measure rather than focusing on the condition itself.
Now, it is important to note that we aren’t doctors. Our team of reviewers does not claim to be medical professionals. Always check with the doctor before making any decisions that will impact the life and wellbeing of your loved one.
CBD oil has been shown in many studies to help treat mild to moderate depression, even in cases where traditional treatments have failed. The reasons for this are complex, though they revolve around how CBD interacts with the nervous system while simultaneously treating causes of depression, such as anxiety and inflammation.
It does this without the risk of side effects or the painful risk of addiction, making it a powerful tool to consider using when treating dementia-related depression. Many members of our team of product reviewers have moderate depression (caused by the winter months, not the work environment!) As such, we took home several bottles of CBD oil and tried them out. During our testing period we were pleased to report that our symptoms decreased by a significant margin. Now, to be fair, we also did things like try to get better sleep and exercise more, which have also been shown to help deal with the symptoms of depression. But the results speak for themselves.
Here are fourteen of the best CBD oils we have found available. Each of them is made by reputable companies that take the time needed to craft an amazing experience for its consumers. Beyond that, we found three companies that stand out as being amongst the best in the field:
1. Penguin CBD
Start enjoying life by grabbing a couple of CBD oil from one of the best producers of CBD products in the United States. This oil is perfect for helping you relax, soothe away pain, and banish anxiety. It is made with the purest CBD isolate available, sourced from non-GMO hemp grown from seed at the best farms in Oregon.
This oil is guaranteed to be filled to the rim with the CBD goodness you want and crave, without any unwanted additives that can lead to an inferior product. One such problematic ingredient you can rest assured is not in this CBD oil is THC. You will not have to worry about experiencing an unwanted high, something that can’t be said for other brands’ oils.
2. Everest CBD
Are you looking for a delicious CBD oil that is truly full-spectrum? Everest offers you the opportunity to embrace the powers of CBD compounds in order to help you start living your best possible life. Everest is one of the leaders in the American CBD market, starting shortly after industrial hemp farming was legalized back in 2004. Since then, they have worked tirelessly to craft amazing products designed to bring the power of the hemp plant to as many people as possible.
The production process starts with sourcing only the highest quality non-GMO seed stock, growing it in carefully tended fields located here in the United States, and then harvesting it using the latest technology. The end result is a CBD product that can help you deal with pain, anxiety, and depression without missing a beat. All you have to do is measure a dose and see what it can do for you and your loved one.
3. Verma Farms
Verma Farms’ oil has been carefully designed from the ground up to provide you with the best experience possible. All you need to do is pick out the flavor that speaks to you and start living your best life.
Verma Farms has a long and storied history of producing quality CBD products, perfect for tackling everything from smoking cessation and weight loss to depression and anxiety. It is used by thousands of people every day, enabling them to quickly and easily tackle even the greatest challenge that life before them. Our team of happy product reviewers always keeps a bottle on hand, ready for those precious moments when we can fully relax and stop having to worry about the world for a few minutes.
4. R+R Medicinals
R+R Medicinals is one of the fastest growing CBD brands in the United States, and has finally brought what everyone has been looking for: USDA Organic, reasonably priced, high performance products. Their employee and veteran-owned company truly has the customer at heart – there is always a live person there to answer questions or help any customer with questions! They’re truly doing it right in a sea of other brands.
5. MedTerra CBD Oil
MedTerra has earned a reputation for excellence in the CBD community due to its dedication to providing the best possible CBD products to users throughout the United States. We were particularly impressed with the varieties MedTerra offered, focusing on everything from sleeping to keeping calm in the face of even the most stressful of situations.
Our team of reviewers was pleased with how the CBD products made us feel. We were better able to relax and focus on the task at hand, making it easier to achieve our goals with ease. The CBD oil really did help us narrow in on the truly important things in life by taking away the doubts, pain, and anxiety that tend to fill our minds on a daily basis. We were pleased with the result and full-heartedly recommend this brand to anyone looking for quality CBD products from a developer with a long history in the market.
6. Just CBD Oil
Are you looking to explore the world of CBD but don’t want to have to worry about the often bitter taste of hemp? Just CBD has your back with a CBD oil that is made with 100% natural and refined CBD isolate, a process that strips out everything but the CBD compounds from the all-natural industrial hemp plant.
Produced by a titan in the CBD world, this CBD oil has been carefully designed to meet the highest quality standards possible. Each bottle is GMP-certified and party lab tested – meaning you are guaranteed to have the best possible experience when using this product.
Our team of reviewers was delighted to try these out for a couple of weeks. We had a variety of goals in mind, ranging from the standard relaxation to help us lose weight or stop smoking. It helped all of us meet our goals, without breaking a sweat.
7. CBDfx Oil
CBDfx is one of the leading companies in the CBD world, among the first to offer CBD products to consumers nationwide. They have taken their early successes and built their practice to offer a wide range of CBD products ranging from simple oils to complex gummies designed to replace multivitamins and diet aids. Our team has had plenty of experience with this brand, often holding it up as a standard-bearer when evaluating newcomers to the CBD marketplace.
During our many encounters, we have found that this company has taken the time and energy needed to produce a high-quality product that is guaranteed to help you deal with the challenges in your life, whether it be smoking cessation, losing weight, or simply relaxing after a long day at the office.
8. Five Full Spectrum CBD+THC Oil
Looking for a CBD+THC oil from a company dedicated to providing you with the best possible CBD and THC experience? Five is proud to offer customers around the nation (except for those that can’t legally purchase THC-inclusive products) with the opportunity to embrace the health benefits of CBD without having to sacrifice the calm and good feelings that come with using THC.
This product line has been carefully developed to provide those seeing the benefits of the full cannabis plant without dealing with the social stigma/potential legal headaches of using marijuana. Designed from the ground up to make finding the right dose easy, all you have to do is follow the directions and within minutes you will be feeling the bliss that can only come from THC. Our team of expert reviewers was amazed with the taste, affordability, and ease of use that came with this product. As such, we strongly recommend it if you happen to be in a state where such a purchase is legal.
9. Charlotte’s Web Oil
Charlotte’s Web has been in the CBD field since its inception, providing clients from around the United States with access to high-quality CBD products at affordable prices. Their main selling point, and one we at the office fully appreciated while evaluating their products, is the sheer volume of dosage sizes available. You are able to find the right dosage for you without having to spend countless hours carefully measuring. All you need to do is follow the directions on the bottle.
Tired of not knowing which CBD oil to buy to help you tackle your personal goals? cbdMD is delighted to offer you the opportunity to experience the many health benefits of hemp with none of the unwanted highs and side effects that come from using marijuana. Each easily affordable bottle comes packed to the gills with the finest full-spectrum CBD oils available, making this a surefire hit for anyone looking to soothe pain, calm anxieties, and relax after a long day.
11. Green Roads CBD Oil
One review of this brand of CBD Oil was quite apt: “The sense of calm just settles over you. It’s like a switch…” And this has played out in our review of this brand. It is among the fastest working CBD oil products available on the market, regardless of the dose. It must be because of the company’s dedication to providing a holistic product that brings to you every good bit of the hemp plant.
Our team was pleased with the variety of products available, both in regards to the dosage and the flavors. It was a joy selecting different varieties to test out during our customary two-week period. During that time we found that this brand of CBD, like the rest we have tested, was able to help us embrace life and tackle the challenges in front of us. As the reviewer said, it was like a switch.
12. Royal CBD Oil
Royal CBD has worked tirelessly to provide you with the best possible CBD oil. All you need to do is read the jar to find out the right dose for you and off you go to a world of bliss. Our review of this brand showed that it did everything it promised and more.
During our review, we were glad to notice that the office became a friendlier, more relaxed place as everyone collectively chilled out thanks to the calming power of CBD. It was a truly marvelous fortnight, and we recommend that you give this brand a try.
13. Cornbread Full Spectrum CBD Oil
Cornbread offers you a wide range of CBD products, including gummies and full-spectrum CBD oil. Their products have one unique advantage that most manufacturers cannot match: The company produces its oil using only the flowers from the hemp plant. This results in a product that includes up to 2 mg of THC per serving in addition to all of the goodness that comes from using all-natural CBD.
Sadly, this means that this product is not available nationwide. It is only available in states that legalize the sale of products containing THC. As such, we strongly recommend that you look up your local laws before making a purchase. If it is available to you, we wholeheartedly recommend this brand and guarantee that you will be amazed by how it can help you achieve your life goals.
14. Gold Bee CBD Oil
Gold Bee has worked tirelessly to produce quality CBD products for use by people throughout the United States. Its goal was to produce a line of products perfect for nearly any event – be it relaxing after a long day at work or fighting off that cigarette craving. Our team of dedicated reviewers, by now CBD product specialists, found that Gold Bee’s products did help in keeping us calm and focused on our goal.
Bonus: Exhale CBD Oil
There is taking a break from work and then there is taking a moment to enjoy the power of CBD from the comfort of your desk. Exhale offers a nearly THC-free oil that has been carefully designed to make it easy for you to tackle any challenge in your way. All you have to do is pick a dose, enjoy, and watch as the worries of the world fall from your shoulders.
Made with 100% full spectrum CBD, this is the perfect oil for anyone looking to embrace all of the health benefits that come with CBD products without having to worry about any unwanted ingredients. Every bottle comes packed to the gills with a healthy dose of CBD, enough to help you do everything from stopping smoking to help lose those extra pounds you put on last winter. Our team of dedicated reviewers loved this brand, and so will you!
Using CBD (Cannabidiol) to Treat the Symptoms of Alzheimer’s & Other Dementias
CBD (aka Cannabidiol) is a compound derived from the Cannabis plant that has positive medicinal effects but does not make people feel “high” or anxious. CBD, in various forms, is legal in 48 US States. The states where it remains illegal are Idaho, and South Dakota, though in SD it will be legal beginning in July 2021. For much more on legality, see below.
CBD should not be confused with Marijuana or the THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) compound which is known for generating a “high” with users. CBD is derived from Cannabis plants, similar to how caffeine is derived from the coffee bean, or aspirin from the bark of a Willow tree. CBD oil is the most common form of administration of the compound, with the oil contained in a gel cap or dropper bottle.
Another chemical in cannabis plants that shows medical benefits similar to CBD is called cannabigerol, or CBG. CBG comes from young marijuana plants and, like CBD, does not get users high. CBG may be useful for treating a specific type of dementia called Huntington’s disease. For more, see below.
CBD Health Benefits for Dementia
The dementia-related conditions that can be helped by CBD include: Alzheimer’s disease, Vascular Dementia, Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), Parkinson’s disease, Frontotemporal dementia and Huntington’s disease.
According to researchers at California’s Salk Institute, their 2016 study found evidence that cannabinoids such as CBD could help remove dementia from, and increase connections between, brain cells. Those results were validated by other laboratories. While the US Food and Drug Administration has yet to approve a CBD drug for the purposes of treating dementia, it has approved a CBD-based drug called Epidiolex for treating epilepsy.
There are several ways CBD can work to improve health outcomes for persons with dementia: by reducing inflammation, by reducing oxygen buildup, by working as a brain stimulant and neuroprotectant, and by eliminating dead brain cells and the protein tangles that are believed to cause brain ailments including dementia. From a user’s perspective, CBD may improve movement while reducing stress and anxiety in the individual with dementia, as well as reduce the decline of memory and other brain functions.
It should be noted that controversy surrounds CBD and the claims companies have made as to its positive effects. The FDA warns that CBD can cause liver injury (as shown in some animal experiments with super high doses) and affect metabolism of other drugs. The agency also says that long-term side effects remain unknown because it has not been studied for a long enough period of time. In actions that are politically based instead of scientifically, the FDA has not approved the use of CBD.
The topic of CBD health benefits continues to grow with new CBD and Alzheimer’s research. In recent studies, CBD has been shown to reduce or remove the impact of inflammation, oxygen buildup and brain cell decline. CBD also increases levels of proteins that eliminate dead cells and plaques in brains with Alzheimer’s, improving both memory and motor function.
When the brain’s immune cells fail to clear blockages associated with Alzheimer’s disease, the result is an inflammatory response. When inflammation happens in the brain, oxygen is released as a result. The greater the inflammation, the greater the negative impact. Important brain functions such as memory are decreased as more oxygen is released in the brain’s cells. Memory loss and other brain deterioration indirectly leads to increased oxygen in the brain. CBD is an antioxidant, which helps reduce the problems associated with oxygen stress. Brain functions negatively impacted by oxygen stress can be improved by using CBD.
Alzheimer’s patients’ brain cells often show a path of rapid decline and destruction. The potential of stimulating brain tissue was recently discovered as a potential benefit of CBD. In clinical trials, CBD has shown the ability to reverse and even prevent the development of Alzheimer’s negative impact. A 2011 study by Australian researchers Tim Karl and Carl Group found that CBD promotes the growth and development of brain cells, reducing the decline of memory and other brain functions.
More recently, in a study researchers were able to increase levels of proteins in the brain (called IL-33 and TREM2) that maintain cognitive functions by eliminating dead cells and helping clear beta-amyloid plaque tangles associated with the disease. After CBD was regularly injected into mice afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease, scientists noticed major improvements in their ability to think. Specifically, the mice could better tell the difference between old objects and new ones. The mice’s movement improved, as well. People with Alzheimer’s often develop stiffness that affects their ability to walk, and mice with these same symptoms will continuously walk in a tight circle. After CBD treatments, that behavior stopped.
Vascular dementia is a general term describing problems with reasoning, planning, judgment, memory and other thought processes caused by brain damage from impaired blood flow to one’s brain. To effectively treat vascular dementia, a 2016 study by the US National Institute of Health (NIH) found that activating CB2 (cannabinoid) receptors in the brain helped recover better blood flow to the brain. Activating the CB2 receptors with CBD has increased brain cell activity and helped reduce brain cell damage commonly associated with vascular dementia.
Dementia with Lewy Bodies
Lewy body dementia (LBD) is a disease associated with abnormal deposits of a protein called alpha-synuclein in the brain. These deposits, called Lewy bodies, affect chemicals in the brain whose changes, in turn, can lead to problems with thinking, sleeping, movement, behavior, and mood. Unlike most pain, anxiety or behavior management drugs, CBD does not block acetylcholine, the main chemical that LBD attacks. Research has shown that CBD can be an effective anti-inflammatory agent, reduce motor symptoms (tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia) and maintain circadian (sleep) rhythms.
Parkinson’s is a chronic progressive disease of the nervous system chiefly affecting middle-aged and elderly people. Parkinson’s is linked to decreased dopamine production and marked by tremor, muscular rigidity, and slow, imprecise movement. Digestive imbalance may also play a role in the progression of Parkinson’s and the severity of symptoms. Cannabinoids such as CBD have been shown to contain effective brain protectors, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties which can be beneficial for managing Parkinson’s disease. Read more about Parkinson’s and CBD.
Frontotemporal Dementia / Pick’s Disease
Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) or frontotemporal degenerations refers to a group of disorders caused by progressive nerve cell loss in the brain’s frontal lobes (the areas behind one’s forehead) or its temporal lobes (the regions behind one’s ears) that leads to symptoms of depression and psychosis. Unlike most antipsychotic drugs, CBD does not lead to an increased risk of death. Research has shown that CBD can be an effective anti-inflammatory agent, reduce anxiety, reduce motor symptoms (tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia) and maintain circadian (sleep) rhythms.
Huntington’s disease (HD), also known as Huntington’s chorea, is an inherited disorder that results in death of brain cells. The earliest symptoms are often subtle problems with mood or mental abilities. A general lack of coordination and an unsteady gait often follow. According to 2016 research from the University of Madrid, due to CBD’s effectiveness as antioxidants and its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD can be beneficial for managing Huntington’s disease. Experiments with mice have shown that another chemical called cannabigerol, or CBG, in marijuana plants can help maintain brain health for people with Huntington’s (see next section).
What is CBG? (CBG vs. CBD)
Another cannabinoid (compound in cannabis) that has shown health benefits is cannabigerol, also known as CBG. Often taken as an oil, like CBD, CBG is rarer than CBD and THC because there is much less of it in a plant. Whereas cannabis strains usually contain about 25% THC and 20% CBD, the compound CBG makes up only about 1% of most plants. CBG can, however, be extracted at higher volumes if the plants are harvested at the right age, meaning younger. CBG turns into CBD and THC as the plant gets older.
CBG binds to cannabinoid receptors in the body, strengthening neurotransmitters (brain cells) that specifically function to do things like motivate us and regulate our appetites and sleeping patterns. Studies have even shown that CBG protects nerve cells in the brain.
Unfortunately, those studies were done on the brains of mice, not humans (specifically, mice with an experimental model of Huntington’s disease). There are actually fewer studies on CGB in humans than the other cannabinoids, so while there is a strong case to be made that CGB works as a neuroprotectant that preserves nerve cells in the brain, the evidence is slimmer.
Like CBD, CGB is non-psychotropic and won’t get you high. A key difference between CBD and CBG is that CBG is harder to extract and therefore more expensive.
Risks & Side Effects
The World Health Organization (WHO) stated that “no public health problems… have been associated with the use of pure CBD,” and there has been no known association with potential for dependence or abuse, unlike most pharma alternatives. The most commonly reported potential side effects of CBD usage were diarrhea and bloating, with some also reporting nausea. About 3% of patients in studies reported liver problems and had to discontinue CBD use. Specifically, in dementia, some patients reported increased tremor with high doses of CBD. As with any new treatment, patients and caregivers should monitor effects and outcomes closely.
Full-Spectrum vs. Isolated CBD
CBD comes in either “full-spectrum” or “isolated” form. The difference is that full-spectrum includes other compounds besides just CBD: cannabinoids (THC and others), terpenes (plant chemicals), and flavonoids (natural plant antioxidants). CBD isolate has been processed into a powder without those natural chemicals. Full-spectrum has more health benefits than isolate.
Misperceptions & Myths
1) CBD is non-psychoactive and medicinal while THC is recreational, not medicinal
CBD (cannabidiol) has been shown to have antipsychotic and anti-anxiety effects in humans. This does not mean it is non-psychoactive, but rather that the psychoactive effects are often beneficial and non-intoxicating vs. the “high” feelings of the THC (aka Tetrahydrocannabinol) compound. THC has also shown medicinal benefits for patients, particularly those suffering from pain or inflammation, especially when combined with CBD for consumption by patients.
2) CBD is a sedative and reduces awareness or alertness
Even in high doses (600mg), CBD has not produced sedating effects in healthy humans. CBD usually makes humans feel more awake and alert without negative impact on sleeping patterns. What is more likely happening is that cannabis strains being used by a patient that have high levels of CBD also contain a potentially sedating natural oil (terpene) such as myrcene.
3) All CBD sources are the same
There are multiple sources of CBD such as hemp, medical cannabis and isolate. Hemp-based CBD is plagued by mislabeling and recent studies have found that only 31% of 84 tested hemp-based CBD products were accurately labeled. Medical, locally sourced cannabis has consistently produced the best CBD source as it is held to stricter laboratory testing for potency and contaminants. If you’re ordering CBD online, know that mislabeling is common, and look for products that have been third-party tested, meaning independent testing has shown the stated percentages are correct.
4) CBD is legal in all 50 States
Despite CBD being sold in health food stores, tobacco shops, on Amazon, etc., and legalization by many US States, the Federal government has not legalized CBD-rich medical cannabis. Hemp-based CBD (with less than 0.3% THC) would not technically have this restriction because it is legal at the state and federal level everywhere except for South Dakota and Idaho. In these two states, CBD is only legal with zero THC. Medical-based CBD has been legalized in more than 30 states and is recreationally legal in a growing number of US locations.
Avoid CBD Scams! Legitimate CBD products will be precisely labeled with information including:
– Amount of active CBD per serving
– Other ingredients
– Manufacturer name
– Suggested use
– Lab testing results
Every batch of CBD should be tested before it’s put into stores to sell.
Forms of CBD Administration
CBD comes in many forms. They range in variety from being consumed orally, inhaled or absorbed into the skin. The most popular are:
-Oil (either to go on the skin or under the tongue)
-Patches (like Band-Aids)
Vape Pen Danger – CBD oil in vape pens sometimes contains a solvent called “propylene glycol,” which degrades when burned at high temperatures and can have serious side effects. Look for “solvent free” CBD vape pens.
|Forms of CBD Administration|
|Form||Time Until Effects Are Felt||Duration of Effects|
|Oral: via Pill or Liquid Drops||15-90 minutes||4 hours|
|Skin: via Oil or Patches (like Band-Aids)||15-120 minutes||5 hours|
|Inhaled: via Vaporizer||2-3 minutes||1 to 2 hours|
Legal Status of CBD in the U.S. (as of May 2022)
CBD is widely available and can be found anywhere from local health food stores and tobacco shops to online retailers like Amazon; making it unclear as to its legality. In 2018, the U.S. legalized CBD through the Farm Bill. That gave a national legal standard with guidelines dictating it contains less than 0.3% THC and made from hemp (not marijuana). Because of differences between state and federal laws, each state can have their own requirements on its legality.
In spite of the diverse legal status in different states, CBD can be purchased online and delivered legally to all 50 states.
A table below breaks down the different requirements by state (as of May 2022) to CDB’s legality.
|Legality of CBD by State (Updated May 2022)|
|Conditions of Legality||States in which these Conditions Apply|
|CBD and medical cannabis is legally available to all adult users (21+)||Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.|
|CBD and medical cannabis is legally available by prescription only||Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.|
|CBD with limited THC content (less than 0.3%) and made from hemp is legally available||Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nebraska, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.|
|CBD with zero THC and made from hemp is legally available||South Dakota and Idaho.|
CBD can also be used legally in most states by residents of assisted living and memory care communities. Read more.
FDA Approval Under Consideration
Not giving CBD federal approval made lawmakers write a bill that would force the FDA to do so. Introduced in early 2021, H.R.841 would make hemp and its byproducts legal and labeled as a dietary supplement under the FDA’s protection and jurisdiction.
This potential law is important for two major reasons. First, FDA approval is the key to making it more accessible to patients in all states and all care facilities. In addition, this leads to potentially being covered by insurance as Medicare and Medicaid have set precedence that they normally approve coverage for all FDA approved medicines.
At this point, it is unknown if this Bill will make a difference. H.R.841 has a long time before it will be signed into law; it is estimated at two years before the FDA is forced to decide on CBD’s legality.
The most common means to obtain CBD rich medical marijuana is from a state licensed dispensary. These dispensaries can be found by searching on any number of dispensary directories (Leafly, Yelp, etc.) or Google Maps.
For those that have trouble with transportation, another increasingly available option would include delivery-based options. However, while convenient for senior patients, these options are not available in every city or town.
Finally, CBD can be legally purchased over the Internet and delivered to all 50 states. One reputable seller is CBDPure. One can visit their website here.
Given the lack of regulation in the CBD marketplace and given the challenges of self-reporting of the benefits with persons with dementia, getting the CBD dosage correct is especially challenging. Even though no prescription is required to purchase CBD, many doctors are still knowledgeable about the product and can provide dosage recommendations. Furthermore, given many persons with dementia take multiple medications, it is worth researching drug-drug interactions when considering CBD. CBD dosage consultations can be arranged online with a doctor for about $60. This is a preferable approach to proceeding without professional medical input. However, it is unlikely one’s insurance would pay for these online dosage consultations.
Should one proceed in testing CBD’s impact on a loved one’s dementia, it’s best to start with the gel cap form of administration as the levels of CBD are consistent (when compared to a dropper) and the act of swallowing a pill is familiar. A further benefit is the once-daily scheduling. While many of CBD’s hypothetical benefits cannot be easily observed, loved ones should pay careful attention to behavior changes. People with dementia who appear calmer or experience less severe sundowning symptoms may be benefitting from CBD. Another area in which CBD’s impact may be observed is in reducing sleeplessness.
Finding the Right Dose
It’s a good idea to start small and slowly increase the dosage. Begin with between 1 and 2 milligrams per day for one week, and increase by 2 to 3 milligrams weekly until you notice improvements in symptoms. Base the dosage on body weight: go smaller if your loved one is particularly light, and give a slightly larger dose for a heavier person. A normal dose for an average adult is around 5 milligrams. You may not want to exceed that number. Again, consult a doctor as you would with any other new supplement or medication.
Insurance Coverage of CBD
At this early stage of development, there are few options covered by insurance. The Food and Drug Administration would need to sign off, and as of now there is only one CBD drug (Epidiolex, for epilepsy) with FDA approval. New legislation is in congress that would force the FDA’s approval. However, currently, when compared to the prices of alternative pharmaceuticals, patients and caregivers may still find that CBD-based medical marijuana is a more cost effective and safer option.
Does Medicare cover CBD? Because of the federal prohibitions on prescribing Schedule 1 substances, there is no Medicare coverage for the purchase of medical marijuana or CBD derivatives. Any out-of-pocket costs one would incur purchasing marijuana for medical use will not count toward any deductibles under Part B or a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. If congress will pass H.R.841 that will force the FDA to decide on CBD. In that case, coverage could potentially change to include it.
Medicinal cannabis is not covered by Medicaid, private plans, group plans, the Veterans Administration (VA) or Obamacare plans. Again, when FDA approval happens there could be coverage of CDB.