First-Ever Human Trial For Cannabis and Dementia

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The Institute for Health Research at University of Notre Dame (UNDA) in Western Australia just announced the start of their unprecedented research to learn how cannabis compounds can be used to treat the symptoms of dementia.

After nearly two years of meticulous planning, UNDA is officially starting the clinical trials to discover the impact of cannabis on dementia. The research team at UNDA will be sourcing their cannabinoid extract from MGC Pharma – an established grower, producer, and processor. The extract will come in the form of an oral spray with at 3:2 ratio of THC:CBD.

The study followed 10 females with severe dementia so far, but will eventually expand to a total of 50 participants over the next year – making it one of the largest studies in this particular field. For now, they will be looking at participants who live in accredited care facilities for the elderly or disabled – to ensure safety of the participants.


According to preliminary observations noted by team lead Dr. Amanda Timler, subjects demonstrated a “40 percent reduction in behavioral concerns and a 50 percent reduction in rigidity after two months of use.”

To further elaborate, cannabis made a positive change for the following symptoms: agitation, aggression, problems with appetite, and difficulty sleeping – all of which are the most common complications associated with dementia.

In an email exchange with the Cannabis Business Times, Dr. Timler discussed the origins of her interest in cannabis, as well as her plans for the future:

“For me, I have a great interest in the area of medicinal cannabis as there are so many therapeutic properties that seem to benefit a range of conditions, so I am interested in how this medication can help to treat dementia as it is a complex condition, with no cure. The number of family members that I have spoken to since the start of this project who just want someone to talk to is overwhelming as the medication being used do not always work or make symptoms worse.”

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