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Can Medical Marijuana Help With Dementia?

Will its effects alleviate or worsen the symptoms?

I just want to start off by saying that I have no experience in trying this and have no clue whether or not this works. I am simply putting my thoughts out there based on what I have read online so far and in hopes that I find others who have any thoughts on this.

So my grandfather of 83-years-old was diagnosed with dementia last year. Before he was diagnosed, we noticed odd behavior like trouble remembering our names, losing his train of thought, short term memory loss, and a lot of repetition. We finally decided to take him to the doctor where he was asked to perform various tasks and they ran many tests. His doctor made us aware of his condition and prescribed medication that he began taking. I personally feel that it all fast-tracked from there. I'm not sure if it was because we actually knew something was wrong now or what, but his condition seemed to worsen very quickly once we found out. 

Our problem at first was that he was a WALKER. He loves going on walks, whether it's to his friends house, the liquor store, or just around the block. We didn't have the heart to take that away from him but we learned the hard way soon after. One day he went for a walk and never came back. Unfortunately none of us were home aside from my grandma who called us three hours later. We looked for him at all his favorite spots, asked neighbors, and began calling every hospital until we found him. He had been admitted to the hospital as he was found unconscious outside of a liquor store with a head wound. Doctors said he had a high blood alcohol level and recommended that he stay over night. As hard as that decision was, we knew things had to change.

For the time being, I am taking care of him until we find a more permanent solution. If he wants to go for a walk, I just go with him. Now our problem is his aggression, agitation, restlessness.... and the list goes on. We understand that all of that comes from his state of confusion but it is very difficult to reason with him as our primary concern is to keep him safe and as healthy as possible. This is why my family and I are strongly considering the use of medical marijuana. 

Most of us know that, depending on the strain of course, weed tends to relax you and puts you in a mellow state. It's also known to give you the MUNCHIES, which is great considering that my grandpa has lost his appetite tremendously. We have done some research here and there and know that the best strain to consider would be sativa and that he should start at a very low dose if we do decide to take this step but I can't help but feel hesitant.

Evidently, this option may decrease his mood swings and increase his appetite. It could also alleviate his pain which he has from a hernia and a bad knee. My concern is that people often have "bad trips" too and I would hate to put him through that as it may make him even more agitated and anxious. I would also hate for it to interfere with his current meds. Do we stop the meds to try this instead? Do we alternate? I feel that if we consult with his doctor about this, he may negate the idea as most of the medical community is opposed to alternative treatments. This is why I'm writing this, in hopes that I reach people out there who have maybe tried this in a similar situation or have any other thoughts. I would love to hear what you guys think; any help is greatly appreciated! Please email me at [email protected] for your thoughts on this!

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