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FAMILY CAREGIVERS: this book is NOT for us
on December 21, 2014
I believe this book's title is misleading, and borders on deceptive. Another reviewer had it right: there's almost nothing here for people trying to actually follow the author's advice, i.e., to treat Alzheimer's with cannabinoids.
This is a well-researched, and as far as I can tell, fully accurate (if incomplete) political treatise as to why legalized medical marijuana makes a lot of sense. I happen to agree with the author. But this is decidedly NOT a book that will help caregivers guide an Alzheimer's patient to health or even manage the disease effectively. It's not really even particularly about Alzheimer's. Only two chapters in the whole book even mention Alzheimer's except in passing, and neither provides adequate guidance to actually modify your treatment approach.
In the passion of his argument, Werner's tone and content is what I would expect from a well-schooled, outraged if polite conscientious objector asked to appear at a Congressional hearing. He is very proud to be speaking today. Unfortunately, the book is wholly unsuitable for sharing with elderly family members due to the gory, detailed, oddly ruthless description of the progression of Alzheimer's disease, e.g. "Lying in their own waste, with decreased blood flow patients frequently develop skin infections which become growing, pus-filled bedsores that pour toxins into the bloodstream. Some patients choke to death on their own saliva or die of pneumonia from inhaling smaller amounts of it." A few sentences later he is back to "dying in pools of our own filth" etc. It's technically true that waste products often kill Alzheimer's patients, but Werner's sensational characterization is really only productive if you are trying to gain the attention of people who know nothing of the daily horrors of Alzheimer's. People actually in that situation who are looking for real help and hope will have to go elsewhere.
What this book does not contain almost broke my heart: there is not a single anecdote that using cannabinoids / cannabidiol was helpful to anyone fighting Alzheimer's. Obviously, human clinical trials of CBD used to treat Alzheimer's would certainly be preferable to a bunch of anecdotes, but prohibition has insured that there simply aren't any such trials. The book does not contain even a single healthcare practitioner of any kind speaking from actual experience about working with Alzheimer's patients who used CBD. The book contains no action steps for caregivers, no references "to learn more", zero practical guidance for talking to antagonistic doctors, finding reliable information online or anywhere else, navigating the seriously messed-up world of CBD oil sold online, tips for learning about the current state-based medical marijuana system which is seemingly ever-changing, or how one might determine whether or not moving to a state with legalized marijuana or accessible medical marijuana is even worthwhile.
Students writing term papers, and those hoping to pick an argument at the Thanksgiving table: this is your book.
<b>Family Caregivers:</b> here's the most useful nugget of information in the book: at the time of the author's research (sometime before it was published in 2011, so already out of date), the cannabis strain the author found with the highest percentage of CBD that was *not* psychoactive was called "Women's Collective Stinky Purple." May I add this caution: If you are in a non-medical marijuana state, before you rush to buy CBD oil online, please read this: Project CBD's special report called <i>HEMP OIL HUSTLERS: A Project CBD Special Report On Medical Marijuana Inc., HempMeds And Kannaway.</i> Wishing you well on your journey.