Prescription of a THC/CBD-Based Medication to Patients with Dementia: A Pilot Study in Geneva
Background: Dementia is increasing worldwide. No effective medication is currently available for the treatment of the underlying disease and accompanying behavioral symptoms. Cannabinoids might have a beneficial effect, but clinical studies with (low-dose) synthetic THC have not been conclusive. Objective: To test the acceptability, practical aspects, and clinical outcomes of the introduction of a THC/CBD-based oral medication in severely demented patients in a specialized nursing home in Geneva. Methods: This was a prospective observational study. Results: Ten female demented patients with severe behavior problems received oral medication with on average 7.6 mg THC/13.2 mg CBD daily after 2 weeks, 8.8 mg THC/17.6 mg CBD after 1 month, and 9.0 mg THC/18.0 mg CBD after 2 months. The THC/CBD-based oil was preferred. Neuropsychiatric Inventory, Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory score, and a behavior problem visual analog scale decreased by 40% after 2 months, rigidity score by 50%. Half of the patients decreased or stopped other psychotropic medications. The staff appreciated the decrease in rigidity, making daily care and transfers easier, the improved direct contact with the patients, the improvement in behavior, and the decrease in constipation with less opioids. There was no withholding of the medication for reasons of side effects, and the effects persisted after 2 months. Conclusions: An oral cannabis extract with THC/CBD, in higher dosages than in other studies, was well tolerated and greatly improved behavior problems, rigidity, and daily care in severely demented patients.
Broers, B., Patà, Z., Mina, A., Wampfler, J., de Saussure, C., & Pautex, S.
Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids
April 4, 2019