Adding marijuana to the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease “is safe
and a promising treatment option”, Israeli researchers conclude, in the
latest study on the burgeoning practice.
Alzheimer’s Disease is a devastating and fatal degenerative
neurological disease affecting more than five million Americans today.
One in three seniors will die with Alzheimer’s or another dementia, and
Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the nation, costing
America about $203 billion in 2013.
indicate the active ingredients in cannabis can provide palliative
relief to Alzheimer’s patients with dementia — calming them down and
allowing them to sleep. Cell studies also indicate cannabis’ active
ingredients could prevent the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s, by
interrupting the cycle of beta-amyloid plaque creation thought to cause
Researchers at the Abarbanel Mental Health Center and the Sackler
Faculty of Medicine at Tel-Aviv University, in Israel, along with the
Department of Psychology, at Bar-Ilan University conducted one of the
first clinical studies of cannabis on human Alzheimer’s patients.
The main active ingredient in cannabis “tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is
a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease (AD)” researchers wrote.
They wanted to measure the safety and efficacy of giving a medical
cannabis oil containing THC as an add-on to existing Alzheimer’s drugs.
Their goal: relieving the terrifying behavioral and psychological
symptoms of dementia.
Eleven patients were recruited into an open-label, month-long trial.
Ten patients finished the trial, and researchers reported “significant
reduction” in mental illness severity, especially with regard to
delusions, agitation/aggression, irritability, apathy, sleep, and
“Adding [medical cannabis oil] to [Alzheimer’s Disease] patients’
pharmacotherapy is safe and a promising treatment option,” researchers
and Efficacy of Medical Cannabis Oil for Behavioral and Psychological
Symptoms of Dementia: An-Open Label, Add-On, Pilot Study”
Smell the Truth editor David Downs is the author of The Medical Marijuana Guidebook, out in paperback this February (Whitman Publishing).