The research on CBD’s effects on dementia is very new. While some of it is promising, nothing is conclusive yet.

Over 55 million people worldwide live with dementia, a condition that causes significant changes in memory, thinking, and behavior. There is currently no cure for dementia, but treatment options can help slow down the progression of the disease and relieve some of the symptoms it causes.

Recently, there has been some discussion on the potential benefits of cannabidiol (CBD) and other cannabinoids for the treatment of dementia symptoms.

While the research on CBD and dementia is limited, some researchers suggest that other cannabinoids may be beneficial for people living with dementia.

Read on to learn what the research says about using CBD to treat dementia symptoms, including how to discuss your treatment options with a doctor or care team.

Dementia is a chronic, progressive condition, which means that the symptoms become worse over time. Because dementia has no cure, the goal of treatment is to help improve your quality of life by reducing symptoms and slowing the rate at which the disease progresses.

Recent research has shown that CBD may help manage the symptoms of certain chronic conditions like chronic pain and mental health conditions. Experts believe this may be due to the fact that CBD can target certain pathways related to inflammation, anxiety, and even cognition.

While this research is promising, there’s much more still to be done before any conclusions can be drawn.

Learn more about how THC and other cannabinoids may affect dementia here.

Discussing CBD treatments with your doctor

If you have been considering using CBD products to help manage dementia symptoms, it’s important to reach out to your doctor beforehand. Together, you can weigh the potential risks and benefits to decide if using CBD for your symptoms is right for you.

CBD can potentially cause side effects, which may include:

It can also interact with alcohol or other medications, especially those that cause sedation.

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Over the last several years, researchers have published multiple reviews on the potential benefits of cannabinoids for dementia.

But most of the currently available studies have investigated tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) rather than CBD. THC is the psychoactive compound of the cannabis plant that’s responsible for the “high” people experience when they use cannabis.

A 2021 research review on CBD and dementia included 4 different studies with 126 participants, all of whom had either Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia.

Although several of the studies found some potential benefits from THC for dementia symptoms, no studies included in the review explored the use of CBD specifically. But the researchers did note that there were multiple upcoming or in-progress studies exploring CBD for this use.

In a 2022 research review, researchers explored the benefits of using cannabinoids to help manage behavioral, psychological, and motor symptoms in three neurocognitive disorders: Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.

According to the results, CBD showed some benefits for the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease, but not necessarily Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia.

Getting involved with CBD research

If you and your healthcare team agree that CBD could be a valuable part of your dementia treatment plan, you may be able to take part in clinical research. To help expand medical knowledge on this treatment option, you can visit:

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Evidence for the use of CBD in dementia care is limited, and there are no CBD products that have been approved for the treatment of this condition.

With that said, you and your doctor may still decide that you want to add CBD to your treatment plan to help manage your symptoms.

Here are our top resources to get you started on your research, including some of our picks for the best CBD products on the market today:

And remember, it’s always important to touch base with your healthcare team before making any changes to your treatment plan ― especially if you’re adding a substance that could potentially react with your other treatment options.

If you’ve been diagnosed with dementia, Medicare and most private insurance companies will cover any necessary services needed to treat or manage the condition. Some of these services may include things like home health visits, hospital stays, medications, and other treatment options.

However, no CBD products have been approved for the treatment of dementia in the United States. In fact, to date, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has only approved four cannabis-related drug products:

  • Epidiolex, which contains a purified form of CBD
  • Marinol and Syndros, which both contain dronabinol, a synthetic delta-9-THC
  • Cesamet, which contains nabilone, a synthetic chemical similar to THC

Since none of these medications ― or any other CBD products ― have been approved to treat dementia specifically, they’re unlikely to be covered by most private insurance plans or Medicare Part D.

Cannabis research has grown exponentially over the last few years, but the research on CBD for dementia is virtually nonexistent.

So far, neither the FDA nor any other regulatory agency has approved CBD for the treatment of dementia ― and there is no evidence to suggest that it can cure or prevent this condition.

If you’re interested in taking CBD for your dementia symptoms, consider reaching out to your healthcare team to discuss the risks, benefits, and other options for treatment.