The Relationship Between CBD and Parkinson’s Treatment
Parkinson’s disease affects about 10 million people in the world, including around one million Americans . Untreated Parkinson’s presents symptoms that significantly reduce the patient’s quality of life. Recent studies have found that cannabis medicine may help with Parkinson’s Disease symptoms.
Parkinson’s affects the motor function of the body because the disease causes the loss of dopamine-producing neurons in the brain. As these neurons die or become damaged, the brain is less and less able to produce sufficient amounts of dopamine thus causing the symptoms associated with Parkinson’s Disease; hand, arm, leg, or jaw tremors, stiff muscles and limbs, slowness of movements, and impaired balance and coordination. Other symptoms include but are not limited to confusion, sleep disturbances, depression, anxiety, decreased facial expressions, and urinary problems .
Cannabis as a therapeutic remedy to the symptoms of Parkinson’s was mentioned as early as 1888 when acclaimed neurologist Sir William Gowers stated that patients with tremors that consumed “Indian hemp” displayed lessening tremors and after a year of continued use, nearly ceased altogether. Modern science has expanded on this research and supports the ideas that cannabis can be beneficial in helping to reduce inflammation, thus helping to decrease the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.
Although clinical studies that focus specifically on the use of cannabis to treat Parkinson’s is limited due to the prohibition of marijuana, there is still evidence that the active chemicals in the plant can help manage symptoms of the disease. A study conducted in 2004 in the Czech Republic found that 45% of respondents that used cannabis reported improvement in their Parkinson’s Disease related motor symptoms . However, as with most treatments for diseases, marijuana is not a treatment that works the same for all patients.
Continued research is needed to prove that CBD definitively aids in managing symptoms produced by Parkinson’s.