HelloMD reports on a recent study published in Clinical Neuropharmacology.
The study showed significant improvement in motor skills, a decrease in tremor (repetitive shaking), rigidity (stiffness or inflexibility), and dyskinesia (difficulty in performing voluntary movements), in 22 Parkinson’s patients who smoked marijuana.
The Journal of Psychopharmacology released a study in 2014 in which CBD and Parkinson’s disease was investigated. Participants used 300mg of CBD per day. They experienced an increase in well-being and quality of life in comparison to the placebo group. The study was impressive, given these results come from the use of a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, CBD.
Yet another study in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry 2013 found THC prove useful in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. It showed prevention of damage caused by free radicals and activated receptors leading to mitochondria formation.
Studies only scratch the surface
Currently, there is a general consensus that the available studies merely scratch the surface of the potential benefits of treatment using medical marijuana to improve Parkinson’s patients’ quality of life. The improvement lies in relieving associated symptoms, such as chronic pain, anxiety and depression.
Parkinson’s Disease descriptions do not generally include the mention of pain says Blair Ford M.D. even though about 85% of patients experience chronic pain and discomfort. It is often the first symptom experienced even before people are diagnosed. The pain is caused by damaged tissue due to tremors, rigidity and inflammation. The use of cannabis for pain dates back thousands of years as cannabis stimulates receptors responsible for reducing the sensation of pain.
Dr. Mark Rabe, the Medical Director of Centric Wellness explains that medical cannabis is useful because of its effects on the nervous system and its ability to mitigate inflammation. Parkinson’s also causes people to become anxious and depressed, 40% of patients develop anxiety disorders and 60% experience depression ranging from mild to chronic severity. Depression might be caused by the chemical changes in the brain of patients.
Research shows endocannabinoids can alleviate depression caused by chronic stress, supplementing naturally occurring endocannabinoids with cannabinoids from plants helps to relieve depression. The endocannabinoid system also plays a role in regulating anxiety. A study done in 2011 showed participants with social anxiety disorder experienced less anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort if they used 600mg of CBD before they had to deal with a situation that would ordinarily cause them to become anxious.
Cannabinoids act as neuro-protective agents, which means they could prevent damage caused by Parkinson’s disease.
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CBD and Parkinson’s
As is the case with many other conditions being studied, medical marijuana could prove beneficial for Parkinson’s disease, but there is a need for more studies to give clinical evidence of efficacy. With regard to Parkinson’s disease, there are large amounts of anecdotal evidence on the efficacy of CBD, and Parkinson’s patients may well be the next to benefit from in-depth studies.