A new research review investigating CBD’s potential therapeutic properties for Alzheimer’s disease suggests the compound could be beneficial for treating the neurodegenerative disease.
Cannabidiol (CBD), an all-natural and non-psychoactive cannabinoid derived from cannabis, could be beneficial for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, according to findings in a new research review published in Frontiers in Pharmacology. Australian researchers examined the available articles that have investigated CBD’s effects on the debilitating neurodegenerative disease and concluded that the compound appears to elicit multiple effects that could be therapeutically beneficial.
The researchers – Tim Karl and Carl Group – explain that they were prompted to conduct the review because CBD has shown to possess neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties in vitro. These properties suggest that the compound could be therapeutically beneficial for reducing or even inhibiting the cognitive and functional impairment that occurs with Alzheimer’s disease.
Karl and Group discovered that CBD shows promise for therapeutic application for Alzheimer’s. In vivo studies show that CBD has the ability to reduce reactive gliosis and the neuroinflammatory response, which has been linked to a significant portion of the neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s and the disease’s progression. Findings also indicate that CBD promotes neurogenesis, or the growth and development of neurons, to in turn reduce the deterioration of cognitive functions.
In preclinical animal studies, CBD has shown to reverse and prevent the development of cognitive deficits. In one, three weeks of daily CBD treatments was effective at reversing the cognitive deficits of mice with injection-induced Alzheimer’s disease. Another found that eight months of CBD treatments helped prevent the development of social recognition memory deficits.
Some studies also suggest that CBD’s therapeutic effects for Alzheimer’s disease are even greater when combined with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the well-known psychoactive compound. In one study, a drug containing CBD and THC decreased gliosis and reduced the buildup of alpha beta and tau. Additionally, the researchers discovered, a combined CBD and THC treatment appears to offer greater anti-dementia effects while avoiding the euphoric effects that develop when taking THC alone.
“The studies reviewed in this mini review provide “proof of principle” for the therapeutic benefits CBD and possibly CBD-THC combinations pose for AD therapy,” the review concludes.
An estimated 5.5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, and as of now there is no cure. The disease takes more lives than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. Karl and Group believe their review’s findings are encouraging and urge for clinical trials so that CBD’s potential benefits for Alzheimer’s disease can be tested for efficacy and safety on human subjects.
“The studies discussed here provide promising preliminary data and the translation of this preclinical work into the clinical setting could be realized relatively quickly: CBD is readily available, appears to only have limited side effects and is safe for human use.”
You can read the entire study, “In vivo Evidence for Therapeutic Properties of Cannabidiol (CBD) for Alzheimer’s Disease,” via the National Center for Biotechnology Information.
Read more about the research findings on cannabinoids like CBD and Alzheimer’s disease by visiting our education page.