Alzheimer’s Case Report From Brazil Finds “Encouraging” Results For Cannabis Extracts Treatment

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It is estimated that as many as 50 million people worldwide suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. It is also estimated that every 3 seconds someone is diagnosed with the condition.

Alzheimer’s disease involves the degeneration of the brain resulting in disruptions in memory, cognition, personality, and other everyday mental functions. Unfortunately, there is no known cure for the disease.

To make matters worse, diagnosis rates of the disease are expected to increase significantly in the coming decades if effective treatments are not discovered/developed. Absent any breakthroughs, it’s estimated that the number of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s could more than triple by 2050.

Fortunately, cannabis may be able to help. Researchers in Brazil recently published a case report involving a patient and microdosing low-THC cannabis extracts. Below is more information about it via a NORML news release:

Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil: Cannabis microdosing is associated with cognitive and behavioral improvements in a patient with mnemonic and non-mnemonic Alzheimer’s disease (AD) symptoms, according to a case report published in the Journal of Medical Case Reports.

An international team of investigators affiliated with The Federal University for Latin American Integration in Brazil and with John Hopkins University in Baltimore reported on the experimental treatment of THC-rich extracts in a 75-year-old male patient with mild-stage Alzheimer’s disease. The patient had been diagnosed with AD two-years prior to his use of cannabis.

Extracts used in the trial contained an 8-to-1 ratio of THC to CBD. The patient receiving the intervention used the extracts daily for 22 months. The subject’s daily dosage never exceeded 1 mg of THC per day.

Investigators reported that the patient exhibited “rapid” and “robust” symptom amelioration following his use of low doses of THC-rich extracts. Specifically, they reported, “[C]ognitive and memory enhancement lasted for more than one year following the start of treatment and remained stable while we progressively evaluate/follow up with the patient, for more than one year after the official report ended.” Authors also reported improvements in the subject’s quality of life and in behavioral issues, including a reduction in mood swings and aggressiveness. Follow up evaluations identified no evidence of cannabis-related toxicity or significant side effects.

They concluded: “Our results are unprecedented and very encouraging. … In summary, data presented in this case report suggest that cannabinoid microdosing is a potential therapeutic for AD, with no significant side effects, although placebo-controlled clinical trials are needed to confirm and extend these data.”

Prior studies and case reports assessing the use of THC in Alzheimer’s disease patients have similarly reported improvements in AD symptoms, such as reduced agitation and improved sleep, following cannabinoid dosing.

Full text of the study, “Cannabinoid extract in microdoses ameliorates mnemonic and non-mnemonic Alzheimer’s disease symptoms: A case report,” appears in the Journal of Medical Case Reports. Additional information on cannabis and Alzheimer’s disease is available from NORML.

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