The physical and emotional stress taken on by the caregivers of Alzheimer's patients is a public health problem. Caregiving overall for individuals with chronic, degenerative diseases, is challenging and can take a significant mental, physical, and emotional toll. Despite this, the vast majority of physical and mental health programs are aimed at treating patients rather than supporting caregivers. Those programs that do exist often lack positive focus on the activity of caring for others, highlighting the need for uplifting, proactive caregiver support.
New studies from the framework of positive psychology and social and affective neurosciences show that positive feelings of compassion, empathy, altruism, gratitude, and hope can be predictive variables of psychological well-being and quality of life as they trigger positive attitudes and feelings of happiness, motivation, calmness, sense of agency, self-efficacy, and optimism.
Science today understands that these feelings are associated with the release of substances in the brain and bloodstream, known respectively as neurotransmitters and hormones. Serotonin, Oxytocin, Dopamine, and endorphins are responsible for feelings of well-being and the promotion of healthy social interactions that increase the enjoyment of activities that include social contact. Studies suggest the use of medicinal hemp extract could support the human body in modulating the adequate release of these substances, therefore providing a potential natural tool for managing stress related to caregiving.
Some forms of medicinal hemp have been found to induce states of relaxation and serenity, which in turn boost resilience and may improve stress coping strategies. Better health while working could help reinvigorate the feeling of value and purpose while caring for others. The use of medicinal hemp could also help caregivers by increasing their overall sense of physical and mental well-being, with its attributes in improving quality of sleep, and regulating appetite. Believed to induce a sense of calm and have antidepressant properties, medicinal hemp could help them to recover more quickly from the stresses associated with care.