What is Alzheimer’s disease and how could cannabidiol (CBD) protect you from it?
As defined by the Collin’s Dictionary, Alzheimer’s is a disorder of the brain resulting in progressive decline in both intellectual and physical abilities.1
1 in 9 Americans over the age of 65 have Alzheimer’s.2 This degenerative brain condition affects an estimated 5.1 million Americans.3 Truth be told, this is not a normal way to age. With the rapid increase of environmental toxins, societal pressures and other biological stressors this disease has unfortunately become the norm throughout the world.
Clinical symptoms include apathy and depression. As the disease progresses, one may notice disorientation, lack of discernment, behavioral shifts and challenges with speech.
Biologically speaking, Alzheimer’s is the accumulation of beta amyloid plaque in the brain.
What is beta amyloid plaque?
Beta Amyloid plaque is a build up of proteins that leads to the hardening of plaque within the arteries. In a healthy brain these foreign proteins are broken down and thus eliminated from the organ but in a diseased state the brain is overwhelmed and cannot perform this fundamental biological process leading to build up.
It results in far less oxygen being pumped to this vital organ and makes it harder and harder for communication to free flow throughout the brain. There are so many blood vessels in the brain, packed into a relatively small area, feeding and regulating a very complex organ.
Over time, arteries can get very thin in the brain, and it is of vital importance that they are clean, strong and healthy. When they become clogged, we see decline in mental well-being that inevitably leads to Alzheimers. The solution is keeping these channels free and clear.
Studies are now showing the ability of CBD from Cannabis to protect the brain from beta amyloid peptide build up and reactive oxygen species that seem to damage the lipids. It acts as a key anti-oxidant in the brain protecting the RNA and DNA from oxidative damage to these life essential fats.4 This is a key finding because our brain is made mostly of fat and for proper function these fats must remain whole, Un-oxidized and intact.
We see that this non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis could likely protect the brain from cell death and promote neurogenesis in the hippocampus. This translates to new cell growth in the medial temporal lobe while protecting the brain from inflammation.
There are also findings that suggest THC could be a fundamental player in preventing beta amyloid plaque build up in the brain warding off Alzheimers as well. After conducting an assay of amyloid plaque with THC through lab testing, there is direct interaction of THC and the stopping of amyloid aggregates.5
This could suggest that more of a full spectrum, whole plant extract is best to powerfully put a halt to amyloid plaque build up and Alzheimer’s disease.
The simple fact that our brains have cannabinoid receptors, makes plant cannabinoids the perfect food and nourishment for this vital organ — while helping protect and ward off the debilitating disease, Alzheimer’s.