Cognitive DisordersCognitive disorders impair the cognitive function to the extent that functioning independently in society is impossible without assistance or treatment.
Common cognitive disorders include:
- Developmental disorders
- Motor skill disorders
- Substance-induced cognitive impairment
Cognitive impairment is not caused by any one disease or condition, nor is it limited to a specific age group. Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias in addition to conditions such as stroke, traumatic brain injury, and developmental disabilities, can cause cognitive impairment.(1) Substance abuse and physical injury are also very common causes in the development of a cognitive impairment.
Cognitive impairment ranges from mild to severe. Mild symptoms do not affect the everyday activities of individuals, but they are noticed. Things like misplacing or losing items often and forgetting appointments. Severe levels of impairment can lead to losing the ability to understand the meaning or importance of something and the ability to talk or write, resulting in the inability to live independently.
An estimated 5.7 million Americans of all ages are living with Alzheimer’s dementia in 2018. This number includes an estimated 5.5 million people age 65 and older and approximately 200,000 individuals under age 65 who have younger-onset Alzheimer’s. This number is projected to rise to 13.2 million by 2050.
Symptoms of Cognitive Impairment
Cognitive: Mental decline, difficulty thinking and understanding, confusion in the evening hours, delusion, disorientation, forgetfulness, making things up, mental confusion, difficulty concentrating, inability to create new memories, inability to do simple math, or inability to recognize common things.
Behavioral: Aggression, agitation, difficulty with self-care, irritability, meaningless repetition of own words, personality changes, restlessness, lack of restraint, or wandering and getting lost.
Mood: Anger, apathy, general discontent, loneliness, or mood swings.
Psychological: Depression, hallucination, or paranoia. Inability to combine muscle movements, jumbled speech, or loss of appetite.
Keeping The Aging Mind Youthful
The brain is resilient but cognitive change is a normal part of aging. It has been well documented in the scientific literature that some cognitive abilities decline with age, while others remain vibrant. Vocabulary may improve over the years as we accumulate more words to describe our experiences.
Unfortunately, without increased stimulation, conceptual reasoning, memory, and processing speed decline over time and are an expected component of aging.
Cognitive changes can occur from excess free radicals in brain cells in addition to the natural deterioration of healthy brain cells as we age. The brain has tremendous oxygen and energy needs; thus, free radicals can build up in the brain tissues rapidly.(2)
Cannabinoids, mainly CBD, have been shown to protect against cognitive decline in animal studies and have proven to be highly beneficial to human patients suffering from a variety of neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson’s Disease. Other studies point to cannabinoids like CBD and CBG as having great promise as a defense against Alzheimer’s disease.
One study whose author published that cannabis “could be considerably better at suppressing the abnormal clumping of malformed proteins that is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease than any currently approved prescription.” The research team predicted that cannabinoid-based medications “will be the new breakout medicine treatments of the near future.” (3)
One startling mechanism of action appears to be the ability of CBD to stimulate the brain to make higher amounts of a compound called BDNF, which stands for brain-derived neurotrophic factor. BDNF promotes new brain cell growth and protects against brain cell death. As we age, there is a natural slow down or complete cessation of new brain cell growth. By stimulating BDNF production, CBD invites the exciting possibility of a reversal of the aging process in the brain. (4)
A second mechanism for action by CBD in the brain is CBD’s ability to improve the efficiency of the mitochondria, the “energy engines” in the cells. With fewer free radicals and more efficient mitochondria, there is less cellular damage in the brain and a deceleration of the aging process.(5)
Countless studies confirm that CBD and CBG have very similar properties. For example, they are both anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and have neuroprotectant properties. Expanding on this remarkably noted pairing, an anti-inflammatory study demonstrated how CBD and CBG performed independently at similar doses.
The CBD was more effective in this model when tested independently, however when researches combined the two, it enhanced their properties, making the overall compound more effective. Several studies confirm similar findings regarding CBG and its ability to enhance other cannabinoids. Overall, cannabinoids and terpenes stimulate receptors and can influence our own endocannabinoids within the ECS.
Broadly speaking, cannabinoids, including CBD and CBG, have demonstrated to be anxiolytic, antidepressant, neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, and have immunomodulatory benefits. The findings from both animal and human trials makes cannabis a front runner as a therapeutic agent for cognitive health.
COGNITIVE HEALTH PRODUCTS
One World Live Cognitive Elixir
OWL Cognitive Elixir is a full-spectrum CBD oil enhanced with CBG cannabinoids and terpenes. OWL Cognitive Elixir is a standardized, lab-tested cannabidiol extract with 300 to 500 mg of CBD and 100 to 500 mg of CBG. The dynamic combination of CBD, CBG and terpene actives was decided on to help improve mental function, contribute to brain health, and combat unwelcomed mental decline attached to aging. Beyond improved mental function, OWL Cognitive Elixir was made to reduce inflammation and ease anxiety.