With medical marijuana being used to treat more and more ailments, the question of whether cannabis can help dementia sufferers needs to be addressed. Researchers in the UK will test whether a cannabis-based drug might benefit those suffering from dementia in a new study.

The drug, Sativex, has already been approved in the United Kingdom to treat muscle stiffness and tightness experienced by people with multiple sclerosis.

Researchers will focus on Sativex’s effect on dementia patients’ changes in behavior, particularly increased agitation and aggression.

In Canada, a study was conducted using a synthetic cannabinoid called Nabilone. Nabilone is currently approved in Canada to treat chemotherapy-induced nausea. The study found dementia sufferers who took the drug experienced significantly reduced agitation and improved behavioral symptoms.

In the U.S., 30 states have legalized marijuana for medical use, but there is limited research on the drug’s affect on dementia patients due to difficulty getting trials approved because under federal law, marijuana is still a Schedule 1 drug. Schedule 1 drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined by the federal government as drugs with no medical use and a high potential for abuse. Schedule 1 drugs are the most dangerous drugs of all the drug schedules with potentially severe psychological or physical dependence.

If you think medical cannabis could benefit your loved one, consider consulting with a cannabis physician to determine the optimal product and dose for your loved one’s condition. The Society of Cannabis Clinicians’ website has a referral section located here: https://www.cannabisclinicians.org/directory/ to find a physician near you.

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