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Can Cannabis Help Parkinson’s Disease

Ecs Function And Movement Disorders

77-Year-Old Coloradan With Parkinson’s Does An About Face On Marijuana

During their investigations, researchers have found functions of the endocannabinoid system altered in those living with several movement disorders, including Parkinsons disease. Since cannabinoid receptors are found in particularly high numbers in areas of the brain controlling movement, researchers are focusing on the ability of plant-based cannabinoids to bind basal ganglia receptors to potentially modify the progression or ease the symptoms of the disease.

A significant number of studies have explored the role of cannabinoids, particularly the effects of CBD, which is shown to mimic the effects of the endocannabinoids produced in the body and initiate a response from the endocannabinoid receptors. Its the interaction with the endocannabinoid receptors and several non-endocannabinoid receptors that explain the anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antiemetic, anxiolytic, antispasmodic, and neuroprotective properties of cannabis.

Research also suggests the effects of CBD are potentially enhanced by the additional cannabinoids found naturally in cannabis, including THC. The amplification of the combined effects of these additional, lesser known, cannabinoids is called the entourage effect.

The Cannigma content is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with an experienced medical professional with a background in cannabis before beginning treatment.

European Journal Of Internal Medicine

Another study, driven by Agnelli, and published in the European Journal of Internal Medicine in 2018, asserted that marijuana was a safe and effective method of treating symptoms of PD in older patients. The study stated that marijuana patients experienced a significant decrease in pain. After six months of use, 18% of patients diminished or discontinued opioids as painkillers.

Why Is Cbd Controversial

The use of CBD is legally gray, as marijuana is illegal at the federal level. However, the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill legalized the use of CBD produced via the cultivation of hemp with THC levels below 0.3 percent.

You also can use a medical marijuana card to obtain CBD in some states. Nevertheless, a few states currently forbid the use of CBD. Check to see if CBD is legal in your state here. 

Because CBD is unregulated at the federal level, it can be difficult to determine the amount of THC in certain products. Purchasing CBD products from reputable brands that conduct third-party testing is currently the safest option.

Where Is Marijuana Use Legal

As of November 2017, marijuana use is legal for medical use in 29 states, and 5 states have approved it specifically for PD. Use should be physician certified, and then patients must register to possess and use any form of marijuana.

Tetrahydrocannabinol is the primary psychotropic cannabinoid in marijuana. It can cause alterations in perception, mood, and behavior. Its effects last for a long time. This creates measurement challenges when establishing or evaluating therapeutic doses.2

Study Probes Whether Cbd Helps For Parkinsons Disease Symptoms

Can Marijuana Help Patients with Parkinsons Disease ...

In November 2012, Colorado got plenty of buzz as the first state in the nation to pass an amendment legalizing marijuana. The retail sale of recreational marijuana followed in January 2014. Shops peddling the drug soon sprouted across the landscape from street corners to strip malls.

But if marijuana is now a fixture of everyday life in Colorado, questions about it continue. One of the most intriguing is the potential cannabis has to treat a host of ailments, including inflammatory bowel disorder, chronic pain, sleep loss, epilepsy and Parkinsons disease. With legalization, researchers finally had an opportunity to lead controlled clinical trials to test the anecdotal evidence patients have offered of marijuanas medical benefits.

There have been many obstacles, however, as Dr. Maureen Leehey, a neurologist at the UCHealth Neurosciences Center and Professor of Neurology with the University of Colorado School of Medicine, can attest. Her experience illustrates the difficulties of conducting evidence-based research into the medical effectiveness of marijuana. Despite its popularity, the drug still must clear significant regulatory hurdles before research yields any solid answers about its benefits to patients.

Can Medical Cannabis Help People With Parkinsons Disease

Medical cannabis has gained a lot of popularity in recent times, because of its health benefits. It can be used to help people with various conditions such as cancer, arthritis, chronic pain, PTSD, epilepsy, Parkinsons disease, and more. You can buy medical cannabis from a licensed dispensary for your medical condition after getting a medical marijuana card. Medical marijuana doctors in NY can provide you this recommendation card after evaluating your condition.

According to the Parkinsons Foundation, there are up to 10 million people who suffer from this condition worldwide. Parkinsons Disease affects around 60,000 Americans every year. Reports suggest that men are more prone to this condition than women. There are 50 percent more chances of them having this condition than women. PD is mainly associated with the aging process, but around 4 percent of people who are diagnosed with it are under the age of 50. And while Parkinsons disease is not fatal, it can certainly reduce the quality of your life, even if you are getting proper treatment. Only the person suffering from this condition can understand the severity of this condition. Many people are now turning to medical cannabis for help after the ineffectiveness of traditional treatments. And most cannabis consumers claim that it has a positive effect on their symptoms.

No Easy Task To Launch Cbd And Parkinsons Study

With marijuana legalized, Leehey began hearing from a number of her patients that cannabis, especially products high in CBD, helped them cope with the debilitating symptoms of Parkinsons disease. CBD made for an attractive study target. Unlike its cannabis cousin THC, CBD doesnt get its users high an essential consideration for those persons with Parkinsons that struggle with thinking, gait and balance problems. In addition, pre-clinical animal studies showed promise for CBD in reducing Parkinsons symptoms.

Leehey found that getting a study of CBD with human subjects wasnt easy. The barriers included simply obtaining CBD for a small pilot study and meeting a host of regulatory requirements for administering it. She finally found a flavored oral CBD solution to use in the pilot, which 10 patients completed.

In addition, the pilot study showed the CBD caused side effects, especially diarrhea, dizziness and daytime sleepiness. In some patients taking the CBD solution, there was also concern about liver dysfunction.

The pilot study had helped Leehey settle on a proper dose of CBD for the next study step, a randomized trial in which neither she nor her patients would know whether they were getting the drug or a placebo.

But Leehey and her team also needed to monitor patients for side effects while protecting their identities. Bainbridge and a study biostatistician provided lists of patients receiving medication or placebo, with their identities removed.

Taking Levodopa To Treat Parkinson’s

The medication most people with Parkinsons end up taking at some point is levodopa, which is the gold standard for treating Parkinsons. It was developed in the late 60s. It is sometimes used for diagnostic purposes.

I was prescribed Levodopa and was told that if it provided relief from my initial symptoms, that there was a good chance I had PD. Otherwise, there was a good chance that I didnt have PD but, possibly something worse. I remember thinking while I want relief from my symptoms, I dont want a diagnosis of PD. Unfortunately, I couldnt have it both ways. If I found relief there was an excellent chance that I had PD .

More Information About Medical Marijuana & Cbd

Ask the MD: Medical Marijuana and Parkinson’s Disease

Marijuana contains many compounds called cannabinoids. The main cannabinoid is THC which causes the high the user experiences with marijuana. Another cannabinoid is CBD or cannabidiol which doesnt cause the high that THC does. These cannabinoids come in various forms from dried leaves that can be smoked, oil that is sprayed under the tongue, and pills that can be swallowed. There are even CBD gummy bears.

CBD can be expensive and isnt covered by insurance. The FDA has not approved medical marijuana and classifies it as a Schedule 1 drug which is a drug that has been found to have no acceptable medical use and a high potential for abuse. This is one of the reasons why more research has not been done and why organizations like the MJF Foundation have called for a reclassification of marijuana.

While illegal at the federal level, medical marijuana is legal in 33 states and the District of Columbia for certain conditions. In some states, Parkinsons disease is one of these conditions. However, state laws vary in the conditions the medical marijuana can be used for, the formulations allowed and whether physician certification is required. By federal law, physicians cannot prescribe marijuana or cannabinoids. In states that require certification from a qualified physician, it can be challenging to find a qualified doctor since many physicians elect not to apply for certification.

Cannabis For Parkinsons Pain Management

Many PD patients report either musculoskeletal pain and/or central nerve pain.

In one study, researchers watched 2,736 patients over the age of 65?begin medical cannabis treatment. Over 65% of the participants were using medical marijuana for pain management.

After six months of medical cannabis treatments :

  • 93.7% of participants reported improvement in their condition
  • On a 0-10 scale, the median level of reported pain went from an eight to a four.
  • More than 18% of patients either reduced or stopped taking their opioids for pain in lieu of the medical marijuana treatments.

Though studies like this demonstrate therapeutic uses of medical cannabis are safe and effective and can reduce opioid dependency there still needs to be more research done to improve the quality of life of people with PD.

Medical Marijuana For Parkinsons Motor Symptoms

During a study on patients with PD later published in Movement Disorders Journal :

  • 39 patients described mild or substantial alleviation of their PD symptoms in general after using marijuana
  • 26 showed improvement of resting tremors
  • 38 had improvement in bradykinesia
  • 32 alleviated muscle rigidity
  • 12 improved L-dopa-induced dyskinesias

Further, using cannabis for Parkinsons for at least three months generated significantly more alleviation of Parkinsons disease symptoms in general among participants.

Another trial of 22 patients attending a motor disorder clinic were evaluated at baseline and again 30 minutes after smoking cannabis.

Researchers learned the participants :

  • Boosted their total score on the motor Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale significantly from 33.1 at baseline to 23.2 after cannabis consumption a 10 point improvement.
  • Significantly improved specific motor symptom scores after treatment in tremor, rigidity, and bradykinesia.
  • Significantly improved their sleep and pain scores.
  • And most important, no significant adverse effects of the drug were observed.

Medical marijuana for Parkinsons may not only improve the physical symptoms of the disease, but also the ones harder to discuss and heal too.

The Increased Interest In Cbd Products As Supplemental Treatment

There is also a very confusing array of CBD products that are available for purchase. These vary in:

  • What the manufacturers state is in the product. That is, some formulations of CBD will state on their label that they also contain a small amount of THC or that they contain other cannabis-derived compounds, but not THC. Others state that they are pure CBD.
  • The formulation. CBD is available in oils, creams, pills, inhalants and more.

It is not just the Parkinsons disease community that has taken an interest in CBD.  There are countless health claims that CBD is helpful for a whole host of conditions. Clinical trial evidence to support the use of CBD however, is minimal. The only FDA-approved indication for CBD is to reduce seizure frequency in certain rare and severe forms of childhood epilepsy. A purified form of CBD, sold under the brand name Epidiolex┬« was tested in a well-designed clinical trial in order to gain this approval. .

For all the other health claims, there is not enough clinical trial data to allow the FDA to state whether or not CBD is effective. And there definitely is not enough data to support the use of one type or formulation of CBD over another.

This has not dimmed the enthusiasm of millions of CBD users for a wide range of medical conditions.

Parkinsons Foundation Centers Of Excellence And Medicinal Marijuana

How Cannabidiol, or CBD, Can Help With Parkinson

The Parkinsons Foundation, in partnership with Northwestern University researchers, studied attitudes about cannabis at 40 Centers of Excellence. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to provide data on the practices, beliefs and attitudes of expert PD physicians concerning cannabis use.  

The results were interesting: most experts said they knew what cannabis did, but disagreed on the details. While there is no general agreement on what the benefits might be for people with PD, the survey confirmed that cannabis is a popular subject within Parkinsons Foundation centers as 95 percent of neurologists reported patients have asked them to prescribe it.

Cannabis study results also included:

  • Only 23 percent of physicians had any formal education on the subject of cannabis , thus 93 percent of physicians want cannabis taught in medical school.
  • Physicians reported that 80 percent of their patients with PD have used cannabis.
  • Only 10 percent of physicians have recommended the use of cannabis to patients with PD.
  • In terms of memory: 75 percent of physicians felt that cannabis would have negative effects on short-term memory and 55 percent felt that cannabis could have negative effects on long-term memory
  • Only 11 percent of physicians have recommended use of cannabis in the last year

This graph shows how physicians expect cannabis would improve, worsen, or show no effect to PD-related symptoms given their expertise and observations of patients with PD.

How Could Cbd Oil Help With Parkinsons

While doctors havent been using CBD oil for Parkinsons disease long-term, and research into the benefits of CBD for this condition only began a few decades ago, current findings are very exciting. Studies suggest that CBD may have some positive effects on certain symptoms of Parkinsons disease, especially when it comes to anxiety, depression, and sleep difficulties.

An Active Response To Parkinsons Diagnosis

Both Dennis Mullen, 71, of Westminster, and Mel Preusser, 78, of Denver, take an active role in managing their Parkinsons disease. They exercise regularly, watch their diets and educate themselves about their condition through reading, classes and support groups.

Mullen ran his own FedEx Ground business until his 2010 diagnosis forced him to retire because the job required extensive walking. Since then hes battled tremors, stiffness and muscle freezing that occasionally stymie him during routine activities like trips to the pantry.

He admits that his initial diagnosis of Parkinsons disease left him depressed. But his wife and kids helped him shed those feelings.

I said I wont let this get me down, Mullen said. Im a fighter.

He said he works to stay abreast of the latest information about Parkinsons disease.

I take a bunch of different ideas and try them, he said. You have to grasp the things that are out there and try to keep up to date on what is working and not working for people.

Initially, he used the LVST BIG physical therapy program, riding a stationary two-seat bicycle with his sons, and the LSVT LOUD approach for speech therapy to mitigate his symptoms.

His vigilance alerted him to articles about CBD being used to treat seizures in kids and later its possible help for people with Parkinsons disease. That led him to Leeheys study.

Obtaining Study Product Remains A Question

Study results await. But if the findings justify moving on to a large-scale Phase 3 study, Leehey will again be faced with the problem of securing product, as NIDA considers the current trial only a proof of concept and will not be the source.

We have to find a commercial partner, Leehey said.

On the surface, that shouldnt be a problem. The 2018 federal Farm Bill allowed states for the first time to cultivate, transport and sell products derived from hemp defined as cannabis plants that contain no more than 0.3 percent of THC. That means CBD extracted from hemp is not a controlled substance, so long as the hemp and the products do not exceed the THC limit and meet a set of federal and state standards. Colorado would seem to be well positioned to take advantage: in 2019, Colorado had some 88,000 acres registered for hemp production.

However, there is a catch. States that want to develop industrial hemp production must either create and submit plans for regulating it to the United States Department of Agriculture , or follow the USDAs Domestic Hemp Production Program. Colorado put together its proposed state plan last June, but did not get approval from the USDA to move forward. Leehey said the state plans to resubmit the revised proposed plan later this year. If it clears the hurdle, she has a couple of local companies in mind to secure hemp-derived CBD.

Can Cannabis Help Parkinsons Patients

Parkinson’s Disease and Medical Marijuana

Q&A: After a survey shows a hunger for answers among clinicians and patients alike, a foundation gathers experts to chart a research path. Heres why.

Today, the Parkinsons Foundation will host an event in Denver that will bring researchers and clinicians together with the cannabis industry to discuss pathways to study the therapeutic potential of cannabis for symptoms of Parkinsons disease.

Alyson Martin, Cannabis Wire co-founder and editor, spoke with the foundations chief scientific officer, James Beck, about the foundations plans, as well as the survey, which the foundation did in partnership with Northwestern University, that inspired the event. The survey of attitudes about cannabis among physicians at 40 medical centers found that 80% of them had patients that had used cannabis, and, significantly, while 95% of neurologists had been asked about it, fewer than 1 in 4 had any cannabis-specific training or education.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Is Medical Marijuana An Option For Me

What’s next for a person with PD who wants to know if medical marijuana is an option? “Marijuana should never be thought of as a replacement for dopaminergic and other approved therapies for PD,” said Dr. Michael S. Okun, the Parkinson’s Foundation National Medical Advisor.

Research is still needed to determine how medical marijuana should be administered and how its long-term use can affect symptoms of PD. To keep patients safe, states that legalize medical marijuana will eventually need to develop training programs for doctors and medical teams that prescribe medical marijuana. Consult your doctor to see if medical marijuana is an option for you.

The Parkinsons Foundation is designed to help guide the PD community in making informed decisions about using cannabis for Parkinsons. The statement is based on the input from 46 experts who attended the Foundations first-ever medical marijuana convening. Read it now. 

Page reviewed by Dr. Bhavana Patel, Movement Disorders Fellow at the University of Florida, a Parkinsons Foundation Center of Excellence.

Taking Cbd Oil For Parkinson’s Symptoms

I decided to use CBD oil to find out what, if any, benefit it provides. I was hesitant at first due to the high cost and lack of evidence beyond some anecdotal evidence that it does help relieve a few motor and non-motor symptoms .

After only a few days, it wasnt evident that it was providing any benefit. I was hoping it would relieve pain due to stiffness. Perhaps it takes more than a few days and/or a dosage change. I plan to finish the bottle I have before deciding whether to continue using it.

What Does The Future Hold

Cannabis may be a future Parkinsons treatment but for now, we need conclusive evidence of the benefits and to better understand appropriate formulations and dosages, the side-effects and interactions with other medications, and any long-term risks. A lot more research is required both in the lab and in clinical trials, including into specific molecules isolated from the plant, in order to achieve these goals.

Cannabinoids Effect On Movement Disorders

Can Medical Marijuana Help Treat Parkinsons Disease ...

This study on clinical observations and trials of cannabinoid-based therapies suggests a possible benefit to tics and probably no advantage for tremors in dyskinesias or PD motor symptoms. Further pre-clinical and clinical research may characterize better the pharmacological, physiological, and therapeutic effects of this class of drugs in developmental disorders.

How We Can Help If You Are Suffering From Parkinsons Disease

If youre curious about how medical cannabis might be able to help you or a loved one manage the symptoms of Parkinsons you can book a consultation with one of our expert specialist doctors. Your private clinic session can form the basis of a personalised treatment plan that is tailored to your own needs.

At The Medical Cannabis Clinics we can help you build and adjust medication options where traditional options have failed. Your comfort and health are our priority. 

Book a private consultation today from just £70 and one of our expert specialist doctors can guide you through your treatment options.

What Is Parkinsons Disease

The symptoms of Parkinsons are characterized as movement disorders, and these symptoms are rooted in neurology. Similar conditions include cerebral palsy and Tourette syndrome.

Its believed that there are around one million adults in the U.S. with Parkinsons and along with tremors and slowed movement, other symptoms may include a face that lacks expression.

When Parkinsons begins appearing in older patients, they often dont seek treatment because they believe its just part of the aging process.

Parkinsons disease is thought to be linked to low dopamine levels in a certain area of the brain. In people with this condition the dopamine cells have died or are dying, and when this happens, its hard for people to control their body movements and do certain things. As people progress in the disease, their dopamine levels follow the same trajectory and symptoms become more pronounced.

This disease isnt a direct cause of death in people who have it, but it isnt curable currently, and it does get worse over time.

Some of the celebrities with Parkinsons include Janet Reno, Michael J. Fox, and Muhammed Ali.

Because its incurable, there is a lot of attention on looking for ways to treat at least some of the symptoms of the disease, which is why marijuana and Parkinsons has become a hot topic of discussion and research.

Treating Parkinsons Disease With Medical Marijuana

Parkinsons disease is the second most common neurological disease in the United States, motivating scientists to research how cannabis can help treat the disease. Here are some connections that have been found:

  • Cannabis is known for having anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds which may help prevent neuro damage. This discovery is important, due to Parkinsons inflammation being responsible for causing damage to the brain neurons, making it the highest contributor to the diseases symptoms. 
  • Not only is medical marijuana an anti-inflammatory, but also known for managing pain. Patients suffering from Parkinsons disease are able to sleep well and experience easier movement when using medical marijuana, as they feel less pain resulting in more mobility. 

While research of using medical marijuana to help treat Parkinsons disease is still being done, we are most certainly on the right path. If you live in the state of Maryland and suffer from unwanted muscle spasms, triggers, or stiffness of muscles, apply for your medical marijuana card and speak to your licensed physician today.    

Mary and Main is a fully licensed and certified medical marijuana dispensary located in Capitol Heights, Maryland. Founded by doctors and experienced caregivers, Mary and Main provides safe, premium quality medical cannabis products with exemplary and compassionate service to all certified patients who are suffering from a number of chronic debilitating illnesses. 

Medical Marijuana And Legislation By State

How Medical Cannabis Works to Help Parkinson’s Disease Patients

Thirty-five states and Washington, DC have passed legislation allowing the use of marijuana-based products. 

In some states where medical marijuana is legalized, consumers must register to possess and use cannabis. Other states require consumers to acquire a document from a physician stating that the patient has an approved condition. Under federal law doctors cannot prescribe cannabis, but many states authorize them to issue certifications that allow patients to obtain medical marijuana.

PD is listed as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana in Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. 

Medical marijuana is legal in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and Washington, DC. 


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