Hi kids. Got something I need to leave with you fellow demented folk and caregivers alike. I don't expect anyone to trust what I have to say but I do hope folks remember it the next time they are having a hard time getting through to their patient or patients in the MCI stage when you find yourself mentally stumbling over your mental two left feet. You used to be better. Clearer. For the caregivers, if only you could make that connection or communication stronger, even if for a little while...
One more slight digression before the fireworks but to state facts, I am indeed in the MCI stage of Lewy Body Dementia, marked by both Alzheimers and Parkinsons symptoms with a special twist (LBD is special, not I specifically): due to a quirk in how the Lewy Bodies attack the brain...well something like this; docs don't exactly agree on this part but for whatever reasons, LBD patients experience cyclic cognitive phases where when in an up phase I am alert, curious about the world around me, my speech is smoother, my gait is almost normal. When in a down phase I am basically Homer Simpson after a trip to Moe's. The only reason I mention this is that it does give me a pretty vivid view of the limits of my cognitive and physical abilities; I know how much is still "good enough" and how little it can be. The best The Cleveland Clinic can advise is....ok let us know if it gets worse. Well, its getting worse and so I am writing this down now while I still can.
OK we are all caught up. I needed you to know this so when I tell you the next part you will understand what I mean and that I know the difference between differing levels of cognitive ability.
I feel like I need to throw on a dozen or two more caveats but lets have at it and I can cover those at the end. What I am here to tell you is a very simple fact:
There is a compound occurring naturally in cannabis that can and does lift the fog from my mind when in the down-state and and restores my normal cognitive abilities for a time. That time has been as little as an hour and as long as four hours from a single dose.
This compound produces zero psychoactive effects; in fact it has naturally occurring anti-psychotics as part of its makeup.
This compound is from a family of compounds called "cannabidiols" or CBDs for short. And I am all about short.
There are no side-effects I have noticed from this aside from increased appetite and better sleep. It doesn't put you TO sleep, just helps you once there to remain relaxed and Z-ed out.
I am referring to "this compound" only because that is as accurate as I can reasonably be with this. There has been zero serious research on this and I am too far gone to effect my own. Thus I can only share what I have observed and what has worked for me.
As with many demented minds, it was all so clear in my head and yet when it hit digital "paper" I omitted maybe the most important part, the one most people will really care to know. Sorry. Going nuts can make getting this stuff right harder than it used to be.
The missed part is this:
A typical situation to give you just one real-world example, I can be in a down-phase and my expressive aphasia is worse, I have the Parkinsons "shuffle" and am generally mentally fogged-in. I do little to nothing but am not bored, just confused by my surroundings. Recall is almost non-existent. I can then ingest a 20th of a gram of Charlottes Cherries Sap (an extract made from Charlottes Web, 69% CBD, 2.3% THC), 34$ per half-gram at a local dispensary. Within 60 seconds of ingestion my mind starts to clear and I start looking around for something to do. Within 2 minutes my speech has smoothed out and my gait is largely normal again. I am in control again, not the dementia. There is little fog left, sometimes even none. I start making *plans* to do things, something impossible in the other state. There is no "high" or feelings of elevation, other than the general feeling of relief at being in some semblance of control of your mind again. My ability to multi-task is increased. The period of efficacy lasts between 1 and 4 hours; a double dose can last me an entire outing to the mall, something else totally impossible in the other state. My wife/caregiver has seen this and on her own told the speech pathologist she would get this for me as long as it had this effect, and he agreed. Getting this exact extraction has proven difficult of late.
It goes without saying if I cannot even specify the compound, any use of this is for your own purposes and I will give you a 10-foot guarantee for it; ten feet from my desk and the warranty expires.
CBDs are present in very few strains since most are engineered for the high or THC content; CBD-based strains are anything but that. That said, the amount of CBDs in even a "CBD-rich" strain will probably top out at around 10%, far too little to be efficacious. For this is have any practicality, it must first be concentrated, often done chemically (but safe unless your an idiot college student, they are always blowing themselves up). The result is a small "dab" of concentrated cannabis about the size of a nickel and about as thick. This extract from the right strains of cannabis will produce the "magic formula" that does it for me. When the extraction is between 60-70% CBD, with less than 4% and more than 2% THC, a single .05 gram dose of this vaporized can lift the fog from my head in less than a minute and never more than two. Where I can't handle busy public places normally, I can with this.
If the extraction is more than a few percent off in the CBD part or off at all on the THC side, this doesn't work nearly as well. These figures are from lab-testing that is now standard in NV, nothing I did.
The two base-strains I have found to work the best for my dementia are Charlottes Web and Harleys Storm. Nothing else comes close or works as well.
My wife and speech pathologist were amazed at the change that happens.
But wait....thats WEED! POT! Whacky Tobaccy!
OK I have been trying hard to be as specific and precise as I can be; mind you I am fighting dementia myself. So lets be CFB as my drill sergeants said back in the day; Army loves acronyms: CFB is Clear as a F-ing Bell. Anyhow lets be very clear on a few things.
First, I am not here to advocate legalization or the moral rights or wrongs with cannabis. I happen to live in a state where its legal for everyone to grow and have so I have no legal rights or wrongs to deal with either. What I AM here to impress upon you is that under the right circumstances (dose, strain, etc) this works absolute wonders for my dementia and as a result, my quality of life. This is a true fact and everyone from my wife to my neuro at Cleveland Clinic are supporting it, mainly due to the results it produces.
The reason I tried so hard to step carefully in stating what it was that was actually working is that this absolute can NOT turn into one of those articles that claims cannabis cures cancer (or by the same token, cannabis causes cancer). The claims in any direction about cannabis are vague to the point of being dangerous. Allow me a simple analogy to illustrate what I mean. Saying cannabis helps cancer (for example) is as pointless as saying tree bark is great for headaches. No, a certain compound found in some tree barks can be purified and processed into aspirin as our grandparents knew it. So while its true that trace amounts of a headache cure CAN be found in tree bark, no one with a headache will go out and eat a tree expecting results. As educated adults, we understand the difference. Cannabis is no different. Cannabis by its, unprocessed or whatever is exactly like many think it is. However with the right strain, the right compounds in the right ratios can be extracted and at that point it is real medicine. So this is definitely not a "Cannabis cures X" story and anyone who says it to you like that is frankly full of caca.
Speaking of excessive values of excrement, you really need to do your own hands-on research on this if you hope to get any value from it. You cannot rely on established medical research as you might think after seeing all the stuff in the news of late that this study shows cannabis helps this or another study that cannabis use causes brain-damage or...take yer pick. The reasons are pretty simple if you don't know. Few key facts to keep in mind:
* Any studies claimed to have been done in this country are out and out lying because the DEA has forbidden any serious research into cannabis, pro or con. Been this way since at least the 70's.
* There HAVE been a handful of studies done and by reputable universities but there is a catch here too, thanks to the DEA. In this country, researchers can get permission from the DEA to do cannabis research but they are limited to getting material from a single place, a farm in Missouri I think. The cannabis grown at this farm is not grown by anyone who knows what they are doing and to a one the researchers have complained about the low quality of the material from this farm, yet they are forbidden from getting it anywhere else. This stuff is so bad the researchers have questioned if it is even cannabis. The THC content is like 2%, CBD 0%. I don't think you can even buy cannabis that low/bad anywhere.
Thus a vast majority researchers have been denied and the few allowed have been given substandard material to work with, ensuring a result of "no medical value". Anyone claiming anything else is full of....well you know.
I said the above not to trash the DEA or whatever but rather to make you think for yourself. I fell into this by accident, desperate to find something, anything that would treat my sciatica pain w/o knocking me out. If you are going to have or learn reliable information about this, you better do it yourself because each and everyone reading these words with dementia today will be beyond help even if real research started tomorrow, and that definitely won't happen with Jeff Sessions running things.
This works for me on levels that has impressed my entire medical team and is making the MCI period for us alot less painful than it used to be. Will it work for you? No idea; it might help anyone with dementia, it might only help LBD folks, who knows. I am simply stating its helping me regain a quality of life I thought was gone for good.
For more information on CBDs effects on the brain, here is something that spells it out better than I can:
Oh yeah the picture is from the very last plant in my very last crop. I am no longer able to raise and process like I used to so thats the end of that.