Brain conditions can take a toll on the health and lifestyle of those affected. Brain trauma can occur as a result of degenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, or from brain injuries such as concussions. Many brain conditions can’t be cured and while treatments do exist, they often come with a bunch of undesirable side effects.
Neurological disorders certainly aren’t uncommon. In fact, as many as one in every six people worldwide suffers from brain conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, stroke and brain injury.
Recent research has shown that cannabis could be useful in restoring neurological functions while reducing pain and inflammation. But it’s vital to choose the right cannabis strain based on your individual needs. This is because the wrong marijuana strain could intensify some of the symptoms of neurological disorders like confusion, balance problems and agitation.
THC Can Remove Harmful Plaque From the Brains of Alzheimer’s Disease Sufferers
Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most common age-related degenerative conditions. The Alzheimer Society of Canada estimates that as many as 747,000 Canadians are living with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.
- Memory failure that gradually worsens
- Language disturbance
- Poor judgment
Treatment plans for people living with Alzheimer’s differ significantly depending on each patient’s specific needs. Treatment is mostly supportive and includes assisted living, home care and drugs that provide cognitive benefits and treat associated conditions such as depression or anxiety.
This is where cannabis comes in. Why? Because the cannabinoids found in marijuana connect with the body’s endocannabinoid receptors. In the case of Alzheimer’s disease, this can help support the brain’s ability to repair itself. It can also reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the brain.
In addition, the cannabis compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has been shown to help remove amyloid beta from cells of the brain. The buildup of this toxic plaque limits the brain’s ability to function normally and is thought to be closely associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
Cannabis Strains Recommended in Addressing Alzheimer’s Disease
- Purple Kush: This strain, which is high in THC, has a berry fruit flavour profile. Due to its relaxing effects, it’s often recommended to Alzheimer’s patients who suffer from severe mood swings, aggravation and associated depression.
- Moby Dick: A high-THC content makes Moby Dick one of the strongest cannabis sativa strains available. It’s known to stimulate cerebral functions and increase feelings of happiness.
The CB2 Receptor Could Be Key in Cannabis Dementia Treatment
While Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, there are more than 70 documented causes of dementia. Other forms of dementia often share symptoms with Alzheimer’s disease—or occur alongside Alzheimer’s—so may be hard to correctly diagnose. This complicates diagnosis and treatment of less common dementia forms. Cannabis can be a safe alternative treatment, because it binds with the body’s CB2 endocannabinoid receptors. These receptors appear to play a role in memory and cognitive function.
Recommended Marijuana Strains to Help Ease Dementia Symptoms:
- White Russian: When it comes to cerebral repair and improved cognitive functioning, this indica strain appears to be helpful. Take White Russian in small doses for optimal results.
- Skunk No. 1: A hybrid marijuana strain, Skunk No. 1 will give a buzz of energy while providing stress relief and stimulating the appetite, which is necessary since malnutrition is a common side effect of dementia.
- Cannatonic: Marijuana strains high in THC may lead to intense euphoric feelings that cause frustration or stress in severe dementia patients. If this is the case, go for high-CBD cannabis like Cannatonic. Folk report that this hybrid strain uplifts mood and improves cognitive function.
RELATED: WHAT IS CBD & HOW CAN IT HELP ME?
High-THC Cannabis Is Suggested for Concussions
Generally, a concussion is a brain injury caused by a hit to the head or body that causes the brain to move back and forth rapidly because of the impact; the brain can be bruised as it hits the inside of the skull. A CT scan is the standard way to assess the brain for concussion, while an MRI can help diagnose problems post-concussion.
Concussion symptoms may include:
- Balance problems
- Sensitivity to light, sounds and movement
- Slurred speech
- Vision problems
- Memory loss
- Difficulty concentrating
Cannabis, specifically THC, has been associated with decreased mortality in adult patients with a traumatic brain injury. Cannabis is especially beneficial for reducing inflammation and swelling of the brain after impact. It can also help promote the growth of new brain cells for faster recovery after a concussion.
Recommended Cannabis Strains to Help With Symptoms of Concussion:
- Bubba Kush: Bubba Kush is known to help with insomnia and sleep disturbance, both of which are common post-concussion syndrome symptoms.
- Green Crack: This indica-dominant strain produces mental stimulation, energy and focus while providing relief from fatigue, stress and depression. Green Crack can help patients deal with the stress of concussion while giving a much-needed energy boost for recovery.
Marijuana Helps Fight Inflammation in CTE Patients
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive degenerative brain disease. It mostly occurs with repeated brain trauma and injury. It’s common in sports professionals like NFL and CFL players, military veterans and those in high-risk jobs such as construction. Basically, CTE causes a protein called tau to spread throughout the brain, killing brain cells as it goes.
- Cognitive impairment
- Short-term memory loss
- Loss of executive functions
- Emotional instability
- Impulsive behaviours
- Substance abuse
- Depression and suicidal thoughts
As with other degenerative conditions, cannabis may help provide some relief from CTE by reducing inflammation and encouraging improved cognitive functioning. Marijuana modulates cellular functions such as cell death and inflammation in brain tissue, while remodelling cell structures for better learning and memory. The plant may also ease depression, anxiety and stress related to the onset and gradual worsening of CTE.
Recommended Marijuana Strains for Those With CTE:
- Sour Diesel: This strain produces a head high while relieving stress, pain and depression. Sour Diesel is high in THC and low in CBD. It’s especially helpful for reducing pain related to post-concussion syndrome.
- Skywalker OG: A hybrid strain, Skywalker OG brings major relaxation and eases severe pain. It has a high-THC content and can help with recovery from concussion while making it easier for CTE patients to relax and sleep.
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