Friday, 1 Jul 2022

How to live longer: CBD could increase lifespan by reducing risk of dementia, says study

Olivia Newton John says she uses cannabis to help treat her cancer

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CBD has so far been shown to increase lifespan in various animal models.

However, it wasn’t until this most recent study that the mechanism was known.

Researchers discovered CBD reduces a bodily operation known as neuronal ageing; a process associated with cognitive decline.

As a result, CBD could play an integral role in maintaining brain health in the long-term, potentially reducing a person’s risk of dementia.

Furthermore, the study concluded: “Our study provides evidence that CBD contributed to extending lifespan and ameliorating the deterioration of ageing-related physical functions.

“Our results are the first to provide the anti-ageing mechanisms of CBD promoting lifespan and ameliorating neuronal ageing, which forms a basis for the possible application of CBD in improving neural health and longevity.”

Subsequently cannabis could potentially provide the basis of a treatment for a range of neurological diseases.

While this is a positive development, this isn’t certain; much more investment and research is required before a link is identified and a medication developed.

Furthermore, cannabis is a complex plant and the impact of its cannabinoids and terpenes will vary greatly depending on the dosages, combinations, and the patient in question.

Nevertheless, it shows how a once derided entity could provide a host of solutions to modern medicinal crises.

In recent months trials, studies, and early laboratory tests have shown cannabis could help those with a range of conditions including:
• Anxiety
• Chronic pain
• Long Covid
• Epilepsy
• Crohn’s disease
• Brain tumours
• Prostate cancer
• Bowel cancer.

As well as helping patients, medicinal cannabis could also provide assistance to the NHS by saving it money according to CEO Pierre van Weperen.

The savings in question would come from chronic pain treatment.

Van Weperen explains: “These patients on average cost the NHS £15,000 per year each and that includes medication, consultation, doctor visits, pain clinics, A&E submissions etc.

“If you were to review those patients and see what you could do with reducing those opioids and replacing that with cannabis, we could probably take care of a lot of those patients for half the money.”

Medicinal cannabis then could save the NHS thousands by reducing the number of hospital visits per patient.

However, before this opportunity can be taken advantage of, there are several challenges to go through including the evidence barrier.

MHRA, NICE, and the majority of the medical establishment in the UK require Randomised Control Trials, also known as RCTs.

The problem with RCTs is they are less effective with plant-based medicines than they are with synthetic medications; overcoming this hurdle will be key to the expansion of medicinal cannabis in the UK.

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