Doctors of Natural Medicine

Medical Marijuana For Alzheimer's Disease

In this article we hope to help you understand how medical marijuana can help you or your loved one’s Alzheimer’s Disease or Dementia. As you already know, Alzheimer’s has no known cure . This being said, we’re here to show you how in what situations medical marijuana could be helpful for you or your loved one dealing with Alzheimer’s.

History and Research

Is it Legal?

Colorado was one of the first states to legalize medical marijuana. Certain qualifying conditions need to be met in order to use medical marijuana. Some states have qualified Alzheimer’s as a qualifying condition to get medical marijuana and as research grows, so will the states where you will be able to qualify. If you are seeking to get evaluated by a certified medical marijuana doctor to see if you can qualify with Alzheimer’s, please click here.

Although the research is limited right now, it is encouraging. Let’s go over how medical marijuana can help you with your Alzheimer’s.

Medical Marijuana and Alzheimer’s – the research is Encouraging

A lot of the research for medical marijuana and Alzheimer’s is just starting to boom in 2020. There is a lot of anecdotal evidence as well that has shown to help Alzheimer’s patients. Even though there is a lot of research that shows the benefits of medical marijuana, some health experts still think it may be risky because there simply isn’t ENOUGH evidence. That being said, both, research and evidence, point that  medical marijuana can be used to treat behavioral problems associated with Alzheimer’s and Dementia which is encouraging  Although it is difficult to draw a conclusion due to the numbers of participants being low in certain studies, in August 2019, the DEA (Drug Enforcement Association) pledged to expand the numbers of labs certified to grow for medical marijuana research.

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How does it work for Alzheimer's Disease?

Since there is a lot of research still being conducted on this, we will give you the best curated information we could collect from our doctor’s and our trusted sources.

THC May help with Alzheimer’s Prevention

A study conducted in 2014 believes that THC can slow the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease! This study  found that small doses of THC (tertahydrocannabinol), one of the two well-known compounds in medical marijuana, can slow the production of beta-amyloid proteins which are thought to be the “key contributors to the progression of Alzheimer’s”. 

THC Reduces Inflammation in Brain

Inflammation within the brain is a major component of Alzheimer’s Disease. The studies above, and several other,  found that THC stopped the infalmmatory response from the nerve cells. This is a very positive discovery and showed that THC-like compounds protected cells from dying. And since Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disease, any protection that could be encouraged by any medicine, is of huge benefit to patients trying to prevent their Alzheimer’s from worsening.

CBD is Known to reduce Inflammation Too

CBD is a federally approved compound that many are beginning to try out. If THC scares you, as it does have the “high” effect, it may be best to start with CBD which does not produce any psychoactive effect but still is known to reduce inflammation. According to, CBD has shown that it can “help slow the process of cell death, known as apoptosis”.  They also mention that used in combination with THC, medical marijuana can show promise in reducing oxidative injury, inflammatory events, and other mechanisms that contribute to brain degeneration.

Cellular Growth in The brain

Alzheimer’s patients are known to lose memory function with time. Some studies have examined how cannabinoids stimulate the growth of tissue in the brain. This part of the brain is called the hippocampus which is responsible for controlling memory. This means that there is a possibility that cannabis can “improve memory function by stimulating greater rates of neuron growth”.

Final Note

It is important to note that, even though doctors have shown medical marijuana to be effective, it does not necessarily mean its safe for everyone, which is why you should consult with your doctor before trying to add medical marijuana to your health regimen. 

What Symptoms are Alleviated?

Alzheimer’s is a complicated disease and patient’s going through it may suffer many different symptoms as it progresses. Medical marijuana may provide patients with some relief by contributing to a better quality of life. Some symptoms that you may see alleviated are:
  • Stimulating appetite
  • Controlling weight
  • Boosting motor function
  • Preventing delusions
  • Controlling agitation, aggression and irritability
  • Improving sleep patterns
  • Increasing social engagement.
This being said, improving daily quality of life may be enough. In addition, to preventing a worsening Dementia, some patients agree that these alleviated symptoms may be enough of a reason to try medical marijuana.

Does Cannabis Cure Alzheimers?

The short answer is, no. We do not know the curing properties of Medical Marijuana for Alzheimer’s patients simply because we do not know enough about it. As you know, and as we mentioned earlier there is no known cure for Alzheimer’s disease.  However, it is safe to say that there is evidence to show how it can help prevent the worsening of Alzheimer’s.

Side Effects & Long term Effects

Depending on the method of ingesting medical marijuana you may experience different side effects ad long term effects. Smokers can experience:

  • Aggravated respiratory conditions.
  • A “Burned Out” Feeling.


Another study conducted  on 11 Alzheimer’s patients over 4 weeks concluded that “Adding medical cannabis oil to Alzheimer’s patients’ pharmacotherapy is a safe and promising treatment option.” We recommend trying oils and edibles if you do not like to smoke your medical marijuana. This may be the healthiest way of taking your medicine in the long term.


All in all, the efficacy of Medical Marijuana for Alzheimer’s Disease is promising. We always recommend speaking with your primary care doctor before adding medical marijuana to your daily regimen. Remember, start slow and your safety should always come first. Medical marijuana is an affordable, natural alternative that has helped thousands of Alzheimer’s patients. If you are considering getting your medical card for consistent medical marijuana use, consider booking an appointment with one of our doctors here