When a loved one has been diagnosed with dementia there are many questions and concerns that are brought up. It can be challenging to know exactly what to do and many seek alternative forms of care in the hopes they can keep cherished memories from slipping away. While there is no cure for dementia, getting relief, and slowing the progression of the disease is important.
While it may sound odd to you, there is some evidence that CBD, or cannabis can help with some of dementia’s most troubling symptoms. With many dementia patients experiencing anxiety and depression.It is only natural that people have turned to CBD to help them control their symptoms.
If the world of CBD is new to you but you’re looking for a way to help someone here are five things you need to know about how to use CBD for dementia symptoms control.
1. CBD Doesn’t Get You High
If your immediate concern is that your loved one will become a stoner or a pothead, you needn’t worry. CBD products are different from marijuana even though they are harvested from the cannabis plant. When those who use marijuana experience a high, it is due to the tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.
CBD products have been chemically extracted from the cannabis leaves so that there is no THC present. So long as your loved one is using a reputably sourced CBD product it should not contain THC and its use will not leave them with a psychoactive experience.
In fact, most often the CBD on the market is extracted from the hemp plant in order to avoid the THC since most users, especially those with dementia will not be seeking a high, but rather to aid them in finding relief from other symptoms. There are several extraction processes but they all work in similar ways.
A solvent goes through the hemp plant leaves in order to separate all of the active compounds of the plant. The result is a highly concentrated and pure oil extract. Then companies take that oil and bottle it for sale, or use the oil to create other CBD products.
2. CBD Can Help You Relax
Many people who suffer from dementia suffer from spells of aggression and disruptive behaviors. As the behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) progress, caregivers are often seeking resources that can help keep these negative symptoms a bay. And that’s where CBD comes in.
In order to help these symptoms, CBD can help decrease aggression and allows them to feel calmer when used regularly. Making their days more pleasant and less disruptive can help ease the burden for stressed caregivers and patients alike.
Since there is no cure for dementia, finding a way to make every day as great as it can be is many family’s goals when caring for their loved ones. CBD can help those who suffer from dementia not succumb to a different personality.
3. CBD Comes in Many Forms
Once you decide to give CBD a try you’ll have to navigate and decide the different forms of CBD on the market. There are many different options and all of them offer the same CBD benefits so it is a matter of preference and ease of use.
It may be beneficial to keep track of specific dosages should your medical team need that information which may make some options better suited for dementia patients than others. CBD oil should not interfere with any prescribed treatment drugs but checking with your doctor before starting a regiment if you have any specific questions.
One of the easiest options is CBD edibles or gummies. Because the CBD is mixed in with a fun flavored gummy they taste great which can make them enticing for dementia patients to take. Each gummy will have a specific dosage of CBD within it, making it easy to keep track of the amount of CBD that is improving the dementia symptoms.
CBD capsules are another easy option and many caregivers appreciate knowing the exact dosage they are distributing. Since CBD capsules are taken orally with water there isn’t a lingering aftertaste, however, depending on how far dementia has progressed it may be difficult to administer a capsule to a patient in need.
CBD is also available as an oil. Bottles of oil are available in many different sizes. Depending on the brand you choose the dropper could make giving a specific dosage complicated and you may have to exercise great care while administering the oil. If your loved one has experienced negative effects from taking too much CBD at one-time then you may want to pass over oil.
CBD oil can have a slightly more weedy taste but some manufactures have flavored oil available which makes oils a popular option. If a particular brand doesn’t suit your needs don’t let it turn you off of CBD oils altogether, the subtle differences between brands can leave you with a favorite. Also, adding oil to coffee works well to mask any less desirable flavor.
While CBD oil can also be used in a vaporizer it is not recommended for dementia patients to vape CBD as the exact amount of CBD inhaled can vary and could lead to varying reactions. Vaping is the fastest way to have the CBD enter the bloodstream however so if you need immediate results vaping may be a good option for some who are living with dementia.
4. Enemy of Amyloid
You probably already know that when the protein amyloid clumps up in brains it can lead to dementia that your loved one has been diagnosed with. While the studies are still in the trial stages, there is some evidence that CBD can help break down the amyloid clumps and prevent them from forming.
It is unlikely that CBD products will completely stop the progression of dementia but it can’t hurt to try. Worst case scenario the patient’s anger and anxiety symptoms may be greatly improved and a positive outlook can help slow the disease down.
5. Is CBD Legal?
The legality of CBD varies from state to state. Because there are no federal laws in the United States legalizing CBD it has been left to each individual state to create their own initiatives to legalize the products. There are still three states where CBD products are illegal: Idaho, Nebraska and South Dakota.
So while you can most likely purchase CBD near where you live, you should be especially careful with transporting any of your purchases, especially across state laws so you aren’t accidentally found in possession of an illegal substance.
Luckily laws are being changed and updated all the time and as states relax their stances on marijuana use it is quite likely the laws surrounding CBD will also relax, making CBD products more widely available.
There are no miracle cures for dementia and while there is no guarantee that CBD will help your loved one there isn’t much risk associated with trying CBD either. Anything you can do to help them enjoy the time they have should be attempted.
When any dementia patient is calm and relaxed it can improve the quality of their life and give you more time together to make precious memories.
Trying CBD to help dementia just may be the thing that makes you both smile again.
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