In spite of the fact that a substantial amount of resources are invested worldwide into dementia research, dementia currently has no cure. But if you look back even just five or 10 years, you’ll see that interventions available today are able to help people live more comfortably with the condition than they previously could.
But just because there isn’t a cure doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything about dementia following a diagnosis. There are a number of ways to slow down the progression of the disease. Two main areas where we can currently make a difference for dementia patients include the:
- Speed of deterioration
- Quality of life
How Can Cannabis Help Dementia Patients?
There are medicines, doctors, health care professionals and caregivers who can help make life better for dementia patients. But cannabis can also help reduce the symptoms associated with dementia by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The ECS is made up of CB1 and CB2 receptors, which are found throughout the body and in the brain. They’re present in the areas of the brain responsible for managing your stress levels, appetite and memory. So, having a balanced ECS can help regulate these processes and keep them functioning in a healthy way.
A way to balance the ECS is to introduce cannabinoids, the chemicals that interact with the ECS, into the body to help. Consuming cannabis is a relatively easy way to do this as the plant’s cannabinoids, mainly cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), are examples of cannabinoids that can help keep the ECS healthy.
In fact, there are studies that show how THC seems to help remove amyloid clumps from in between nerve cells in the brain. Researchers believe these amyloid clumps are the ones responsible for the deterioration of the mind in dementia patients, because they block vital communications between brain cells.
Let’s take a look at 10 cannabis strains that may be most helpful for people with dementia.
1. Green Crack Helps Dementia Sufferers With Focus Problems & Other Related Symptoms
Green Crack is a popular strain for recreational marijuana consumers. Many people take this cannabis strain to help ease:
These are all related symptoms that dementia sufferers have to deal with.
Due to its THC content, Green Crack can help reduce plaque buildup on the brains of those that have dementia. But since Green Crack is an energetic sativa strain, it can also help improve focus, which is just what dementia patients need to help with cognitive functioning.
2. White Russian’s Mood-Uplifting Properties Can Give Dementia Sufferers a Good Quality of Life
White Russian is a hybrid mix between the cannabis strains White Widow and AK-47. It’s a popular strain among medical cannabis consumers due to its 20% THC content. This can make White Russian effective in helping dementia patients alleviate stress, anxiety and depression to give them an uplifted mood.
3. LSD’s Hallucinogenic High Helps With Pain & Sour Mood
We’re not talking about the psychedelic drug LSD, here. This LSD is actually a hybrid cannabis strain that’s indica dominant. When consumed, you’ll experience a hallucinogenic high that, most of the time, leads to happy and uplifting emotions. So, this makes LSD a great marijuana strain to deal with depression as well as other mood and emotional disorders.
Consumers also report that the LSD marijuana strain helps take away physical pain, which could be useful for dementia patients, too.
4. Lavender’s Terpene Linalool Helps Calm & Relax
Lavender is an indica cannabis strain that’s a favourite for relaxing. The herb lavender and the cannabis strain lavender contain the terpene linalool, which is also used in essential oils for its calming effect.
Lavender strain consumers can also expect to feel a mood-lifting euphoria that helps reduce stress levels. Lavender also soothes pain thanks to its medium-to-high THC content, an important part of helping dementia patients feel happy and relaxed.
5. The Ox Is a Soothing, High-CBD Cannabis Option
Then there’s the Ox, a cannabis strain jam-packed with CBD. CBD doesn’t make you feel high like THC, but it does help treat inflammation, crucial to stalling the progression of dementia.
The Ox has a decent amount of THC though, so will also have pain-relieving properties and proved a mellow head high, making it an ideal choice for an elderly dementia patient.
6. Acapulco Gold’s High THC Content Can Act as a Neuroprotectant
Numerous studies conclude that taking cannabis can help protect the brain from aging and deterioration. And one of the most useful cannabis strains to take as a neuroprotectant is Acapulco Gold. This strain is commonly taken by recreational cannabis consumers who need an energy boost.
However, this is also the strain of choice of many dementia patients, because of its typical THC content of 22–24%. So not only can Acapulco Gold relieve pain, but it can also heighten the senses, including memory.
7. Blissful Wizard Can Help Ease Fatigue & Nausea
Blissful Wizard is another cannabis strain that’ll help ease stress in dementia patients. This hybrid strain is typically loaded with THC, sometimes clocking in at 30–34%, so we definitely advise folks to start low and go slow with Blissful Wizard. Expect to feel exhilarated and energetic after taking this strain.
Other benefits of Blissful Wizard are that it can help with plaque buildup in the brain, reduce inflammation and help curb nausea and appetite loss.
8. Dutch Dragon Imparts Giggles & Mental Alertness
Dutch Dragon, a sativa-dominant marijuana strain, is another effective cannabis strain that helps deal with many of dementia’s symptoms. Its high THC levels (sometimes up to 20%) mean it typically imparts a long-lasting and intense high.
But Dutch Dragon is also known to improve mood, mental alertness and ease pain—all things that help dementia sufferers.
9. OG Kush Is a Heavy-Hitting Marijuana Strain Good for Pain & Mood
OG Kush is a hybrid cannabis strain that consumers report helps ease pain, nausea and mood disorders—all common dementia-associated symptoms.
OG Kush usually contains around 25% THC and almost no CBD, so this means consumers should proceed with caution and only take small amounts until they feel comfortable with the strain’s effects. Since OG Kush tends to be indica dominant, consumers also tend to feel relaxed and could experience couch lock. So, this would be a good cannabis strain to try in the evening or at night.
10. Sour Diesel Can Help You Feel Happy & Energized
Sour Diesel is the cannabis strain to try if a dementia patient needs to feel calm yet energized to tackle simple tasks around the home. Sour Diesel can also help fight stress and depression because of its uplifting effects. Expect to be in a better, energized mood after taking Sour Diesel, like you’ve just had a strong cup of coffee.
Always remember to exercise caution and start with just a small amount when trying out these cannabis strains. It’s also always a good idea to speak to your doctor about any possible interactions with prescription drugs you may already be taking.
Photo credit: Katarzyna Grabowska