CBD for Parkinson’s Disease
Every year in the United States, approximately 60,000 individuals are newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease according to the Parkinson’s Foundation.
Furthermore PF adds, by the year 2020, the number of people living with this condition is expected to near one million in total. Which is making it more prevalent than multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, and Lou Gehrig’s disease combined.
What is Parkinson disease?
Parkinson’s as “a type of movement disorder that can affect the ability to perform common, daily activities. Unlike other movement disorders, Parkinson’s disease is characterized by a loss of brain cells, specifically those in the substantia nigra region. This condition lowers dopamine levels which causes issues related to movement regulation, thus impacting the patients’ quality of life.
Parkinson’s disease is both chronic and progressive, making this movement disorder one that is long-lasting, while also worsening as time progresses.
Also, though it typically appears after the age of 50, roughly one in ten Parkinson’s disease patients are diagnosed at a younger age. This is called Early Onset Parkinson’s.
Symptoms of Parkinson's
Symptoms of Parkinson’s fall into one of two categories: motor symptoms and non-motor symptoms. Motor symptoms and non-motor symptoms. Motor symptoms of Parkinson’s that typically make these typical daily movements more difficult, some of which include experiencing tremors, having stiff or rigid muscles, walking difficulties, slowness of movement (also known as bradykinesia), and postural instability. Another motor symptom Parkinson’s disease patients tend to notice is a change in their voice. Changes in volume are common in the early stages, whereas speaking fast, crowding words, and stuttering are more prevalent in advanced stages of this disease
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Parkinson’s symptoms that don’t involve movement and are therefore sometimes missed, include:
- Reduced sensitivity to smells
- Trouble staying asleep
- Increased depression and anxiety
- Psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions
- Weight loss
- Excessive sweating
- Difficulty multi-tasking
- Harder time with organization
- Increase in urinary frequency and urgency
- Reduced libido
- Slower blinking and dry eyes
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What the research says about CBD and Parkinson's
Some other Parkinson’s research found that CBD can also help relieve non-motor symptoms. For instance a open study. Meaning that there is no placebo group, so the subjects know that they’re receiving active treatment—found that, after being taken for four weeks, CBD helped reduce psychotic symptoms.
Other studies shared by the National Institute of Health have found similar results. They indicate that the study of CBD in relation to Parkinson’s disease is especially interesting because of the direct relationship between endocannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors, and the neurons associated with this neurodegenerative disease that impacts the central nervous system
Another double-blind trial involved 119 Parkinson’s patients who were treated with either 75 mg of CBD per day, 300 mg CBD daily, or a placebo. Although researchers could not establish a statistically significant difference in motor and general symptoms scores, there were significantly different means in relation to their well-being and quality of life.
Another piece of research, this one published in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, indicates that many clinical trials have been conducted in this area. Though some have been inconclusive or controversial, others have found that CBD has positive effects on some of Parkinson’s motor symptoms.
One such study looked at 22 patients who engaged in the medical use of cannabis, which contains CBD. In this case, improvements were noted in regard to tremor, rigidity, 30 minutes after using medical marijuana.
The results are very promising but much more research is underway to help unlock the true potential of the cannabis plant.