Case Study: Low doses of THC-rich cannabis extracts show ‘encouraging’ results in a patient with Alzheimer’s disease

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

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

The 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 dose never exceeded 1 mg of THC per day.

Investigators reported that the patient showed “rapid” and “robust” improvement in symptoms following the use of low doses of THC-rich extracts. Specifically, they reported, “[C]Cognitive and memory improvement lasted over a year after starting treatment and remained stable as we progressively assessed/followed the patient, for over a year after the formal report ended. The authors also reported improvements in the subject’s quality of life and behavioral problems, including a reduction in mood swings and aggression. 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, the data presented in this case report suggests that cannabinoid microdosing is a potential therapy for AD, without significant side effects, although placebo-controlled clinical trials are needed to confirm and expand these data.

Previous studies and case reports evaluating the use of THC in Alzheimer’s disease patients have also reported improvements in Alzheimer’s disease symptoms, such as reduced restlessness and improved sleep, after the administration of cannabinoids.

Full text of the study, “Cannabinoid extract in microdoses improves Mnemonic and Non-Mnemonic Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease: A Case Report,” appears in the Journal of Medical Case Reports. Additional information on cannabis and Alzheimer’s disease is available at NORMAL.

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