A few months ago, I wrote a column, Seniors Have Even More Reason to Demand End to Cannabis Prohibition, lamenting the fact that the Alzheimer’s Association seems to be ignoring the possible benefits of cannabis for Alzheimer’s patients.
At the most basic level, Alzheimer’s symptoms are very stressful for patients and that creates even more stress for their families and caregivers, which magnifies the stress for the patient. Ironically, the prohibitionist stereotype for marijuana users is “mellow, dude.” And yet … nada.
Let me make clear that I do not believe that the people at ALZ.org are trying to suppress any research that would find a solution for Alzheimer’s, and I certainly understand why any group that has had to work with the vast international medical establishment would have to avoid marijuana. (Believe me, I totally understand.)
And now the University College of London has reported in a new study, “A single dose of cannabidiol (CBD) helped increase blood flow to the hippocampus, an important area of the brain associated with memory and emotion…”
Researchers say the findings could be an important discovery for conditions which affect memory, such as Alzheimer’s disease and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and could help better target therapies.
In the study, published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, researchers set out to investigate how CBD influences cerebral blood flow in different regions on the brain involved in memory processing.
Lead author, Dr. Michael Bloomfield (UCL Psychiatry) said: “Cannabidiol is one of the main constituents of cannabis and is gaining interest for its therapeutic potential.
“There is evidence that CBD may help reduce symptoms of psychosis and anxiety. There is some evidence to suggest that CBD may improve memory function.
“Additionally, CBD changes how the brain processes emotional memories, which could help to explain its reputed therapeutic effects in PTSD and other psychiatric disorders. However, the precise mechanisms underlying the effects of CBD on memory are unclear.” …
“CBD significantly increased blood flow in the hippocampus, however CBD did not cause significant differences in blood flow in other regions of the medial temporal lobe (MTL), of which the hippocampus is a significant component. …
“This supports the view that CBD has region-specific blood flow effects in the human brain, which has previously been disputed.”
As always, I want to emphasize that my point is political, not medical. However, as I just turned 80, I am all too aware that there’s little that most people my age fear more than Alzheimer’s. Even without that dread disease, we all have to cope with declining mental capacity. If there is anything that can help slow that decline, we need to know. And no one has the right to stop us, whether it is CBD or whole cannabis.
For decades the Drug Warriors locked millions of us in cages, but they cannot be allowed to lock us into our own minds.
End Marijuana Prohibition Now!
Richard Cowan is a former NORML National Director and co-founder of Buy CBD Gummies.