The Potential of Medical Cannabis: Alzheimer’s Disease

Writer Pete Goodwin is a principal at Brainstorm Mind Fitness —


Ask yourself if the following sounds familiar.

You start to notice it happening more often.  What was the name of that movie we saw last week?  You know, the one with that actor, you know, the one married to that attractive actress with the big lips?  You walk into the garage and stand there for a minute or two wondering what you were going for.  And for the second time this week you’ve misplaced your car keys and the TV remote.

You experience a wave of anxiety as you recall that you’re about the same age as Mom was when she first started forgetting things.  With trepidation you recall that decade long journey backwards in time Mom took as she succumbed inexorably to the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

You try to put the fear to rest by reassuring yourself that this is all just a natural part of aging; after all many of your friends report the same experiences.  But in the back of your mind you worry that you will inevitably follow the same path as Mom, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

We’ve all experienced similar thoughts, especially as we age.  Alzheimer’s disease currently afflicts over five million people in the U.S. and the numbers are increasing.  By 2050, we expect there to be over fifteen million Alzheimer’s patients in the U.S. alone. Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent annually on research into the causes and treatments for Alzheimer’s disease.

According to scientific research, medical cannabis has a tremendous potential role to play in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.  It is a promising new frontier of medicine that has excited scientists and medical researchers alike.  Clinical studies have shown that the non-psychoactive cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) has significant neuroprotective effects.[1]

It is also being blocked.  Under Federal Law, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has classified cannabis as a schedule I drug.  Schedule I drugs include heroin, LSD and cocaine.  More than 26 individual states have rallied against this classification, asserting states’ rights and have passed state laws legalizing cannabis use for medical purposes.

Imagine what we will accomplish once those legal barriers surrounding cannabis research are lifted.

For more information or if your family is affected by Alzheimer’s, find resources at

[1] Peiatr Res. 2008 Dec;64(6):653-8. doi: 10.1203/PDR.0b013e318186e5dd.


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