“Weed to the Wise:” Hope for Alzheimer’s



Welcome to the June edition of the curated PLAYBOOK for emerging medical cannabis research for seniors! Because June is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, this playbook will focus on the most recent medical cannabis research on the disease. Alzheimer’s affects 50 million people worldwide, and that will climb to 150 million by 2050. It is currently the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S.! This month’s playbook will also remind you of just how sacred nature is and share ideas for living well.

**News: Jared Polis, Governor of Colorado, just signed a bill that will allow physicians to prescribe medical marijuana for pain (instead of opioids) after August 2nd (link below). Look for the July PLAYBOOK dedicated to cannabis and opioids!

EMERGING MEDICAL CANNABIS RESEARCH

WHAT’S NEW?

  1. “Undeniable Evidence: Cannabis, Alzheimer’s and Dementia.” University of South Florida study (2014) found that THC-like compounds made by the nerve cells themselves may be involved in protecting the cells from dying. “We also found that THC was considerably more effective than two of the approved drugs for Alzheimer’s disease treatment, donepezil (Aricept ®) and tacrine (Cognex ®).”
  2. This is a comprehensive article from United Patients Group about several research studies, including the 2014 USF study above. “What is really becoming apparent is that targeted cannabinoid therapy is rising to the top as one of the most powerful protocols for both treating and preventing Alzheimer’s.” The article refers to a February 2017 analysis that found that CBD can prevent and even reverse “the development of cognitive deficits” that have already occurred. *The critical warning is to avoid any pesticides in the weed.
  3. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease (n=600): A six-year study, led by Assistant Professor Feng Lei from the National University of Singapore, found that seniors who ate more than 300 grams of cooked mushrooms a week were half as likely to have mild cognitive impairment. Dr. Irwin Cheah is a member of the research team. (I was hoping this was ‘shrooms, but I’ll settle for white buttons. 🙂 )
  4. Journal of Alzheimer’s disease (n=100, 2018): This study found that THC reversed the cognitive decline in patients, increased ACH, reduced plaques, and reduced inflammation and cell death (helping them sleep and feel less pain…my mother needed this!).
  5. Switzerland dementia study (n=10): Ten female demented patients with severe behavior problems received oral cannabis medication with 1:2 THC:CBD (7.6 mg THC/13.2 mg CBD daily after 2 weeks, 8.8 mg THC/17.6 mg CBD after 1 month, and 9.0 mg THC/18.0 mg CBD after 2 months.) The THC/CBD-based oil was preferred. After 2 months, rigidity score decreased by 50%. Half of the patients decreased or stopped other psychotropic medications and there was a decrease in constipation with less opioids. There was no withholding of the medication for reasons of side effects, and the effects persisted after 2 months. (Evidently one woman, who screamed constantly, stopped screaming!  I know, you can hardly consider 10 people to be ‘research’ but in this field at this time results can be intriguing. To help your compassion become more personal, just imagine living with someone who screams all day and the suffering of that person and all those around them. For that to stop must have felt like a miracle! The other results have been corroborated in other studies.)
  6. Forbes article: “Do Patients Find More Relief With THC than CBD?”
  7. Colorado governor (Jared Polis) signed Senate Bill 13 to allow physicians to prescribe medical marijuana instead of opioids. When it becomes law on August 2nd, doctors can decide whether to prescribe opioids or recommend medical marijuana (or a mixture of both) to patients. Westword article.  This is HUGE news for our state!
  8. See more Alzheimer’s related articles at https://grass4geezers.com/category/research/alzheimers/

APPRECIATING NATURE 

THE GREAT CONVERSATION

Rewilding: A Conversation with Staffan Widstrand, by Eleanor O’Hanlon, Parabola Magazine, Summer 2019, p.24.

Rewilding aims to restore the conditions that allow wildlife and ecosystems to thrive, without the need for intensive human management. “We need to show people the wonders of the natural world, so they can fall in love with it. You can love rhinos even if you have never seen one in real life. This is why I do this work, and why I travel. If we’re not able to see the wonders of nature, how can we love it? And if we don’t love it, nature will not be protected…The forest is a cathedral that is not designed by man, but by the forest itself.”

Buhner, Stephen Harrod, Plant Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm, 2014, p. 223.

“Plants that contain cannabinoids, most especially cannabis, are hooked into ecosystems wherever they grow. They affect the neural networks in those systems just as they do in us. Cannabinoids act to provide pain relieving functions in ecosystems, for every organism in the network, for the ecosystem itself. Ecosystems feel pain, just as we do.”

LIVING WELL

TIPS FROM YOUR GUIDE

  1. Bredesen, Dale, “The End of Alzheimer’s,” Aug. 2017, on Amazon: Dr. Bredesen has developed an experimental program and practical plan for preventing cognitive decline (that does not include cannabis). Some suggestions are:
    –Treat inflammation
    –Get more sleep
    –Have less stress
    –Exercise more
    –Get sufficient vitamin D and magnesium
    –Eat a gluten-free diet
    –Avoid air, food, and water toxins.
  2. Watch Bryan Cranston’s NYC “Women of the Word Summit” (2019) video talk about his mother and Alzheimer’s. Youtube video
  3. “I do not need a situation resolved to find peace.”

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