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.
Cbd Side Effects And Risks
In most studies, CBD is tolerated well. It rarely causes side effects, and the ones that do happen tend to be mild. They include tiredness, changes in appetite, and diarrhea or nausea.
However, CBD can interact with prescription and over-the-counter medications. Talk to your doctor before taking CBD, especially if youre on medications that contain a grapefruit warning. CBD and grapefruit have a similar effect on certain enzymes related to drug metabolism.
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What Are The Benefits
Relief was reported in pain reduction, improved sleep, and some psychological components.4 No major adverse effects were reported.
Other clinical trials reported no change in motor skills, but some reported fluctuations in drug-induced involuntary muscle movement.
What Does The Research Say
So far, there have not been enough clinical trials and research on the effect of marijuana on PD patients. But, the ones that exist increase the hopes of having a possible alternative treatment for PD. Lets take a look at some of the data we have today:
- The German Parkinson Association conducted a survey on PD patients. It included a questionnaire to assess the perception of patients about medical marijuana and their experience of using the same. A total of 1,348 questionnaires were filled nationwide. After careful analysis, it was concluded that about 8.4% of patients used cannabis for PD. And more than 40% of them experienced an improvement in akinesia, anxiety, and other symptoms.
- Preclinical studies and research suggest that cannabinoids may provide symptomatic relief and have neuroprotective potential which proves to be helpful against neurological conditions.
- Another survey conducted by email in January 2020 revealed a lot of helpful information on the use of medical marijuana for PD. When asked about the efficacy of cannabis in managing motor and non-motor symptoms of PD, almost half of the people reported some sort of improvement. The level of efficacy was higher among those using high THC cannabis compared to those using low THC variety.
The research is still at its prime. Federal restrictions are one of the primary reasons for such limited research.
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What Is Parkinsons Disease
One of the main symptoms of Parkinsons disease is a deterioration of motor functions, which can be grouped into 3 main symptoms: involuntaryshaking of parts of the body , slow movement and stiff muscles. Tremorsare certainly the most visible and well-known of the motor symptoms, but thereare numerous other specific motor symptoms that patients can suffer from,depending on the individual.
In addition to the motor symptoms, there are alsoneuropsychiatric symptoms of Parkinsons disease that can include adeterioration of certain cognitive functions, mood disorders or behaviouraldisorders. These disorders largely manifest themselves as problems with concentration, memory, language and visuospatial skills. Theprogressive deterioration of this cognitive capacity can, over the long-term,result in a much more severe manifestation of dementia.
Since the 1970s, the scientific community promptedby frequent reports from patients opting for self-medication has been able tofocus its research on cannabinoids for the treatment of Parkinsons disease. The number ofstudies conducted on the subject continues to be relatively low, despite recentrenewed efforts in this direction owing to the frequency of cases reported bypatients suffering from the disease.
The Role Of Cannabinoid Receptors
Our bodies naturally make cannabinoids that control various processes, such as mood, sleep and appetite, by binding to cannabinoid receptors throughout the brain and body. We have two main types of cannabinoid receptor, which are like switches outside cells that trigger a biological reaction within a cell once the receptor is activated: CB1 receptors are located in the brain and respond to THC which results in the highs associated with cannabis use CB2 receptors are found mainly on cells relating to the immune system and on brain cells believed to be responsible for pain relief.
There are concentrations of cannabinoid receptors in the basal ganglia area of the brain, where dopamine-producing neurons are located and which is known to be involved in the movement symptoms of Parkinsons. Researchers have therefore speculated that a substance such as cannabis, which binds with cannabinoid receptors in an area of the brain so closely involved in Parkinsons, may positively affect the symptoms of the condition. Extensive research into this is underway.
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.
Expert Advice About Medical Marijuana For Parkinsons
According to a report from Parkinson.org, you should follow these tips if youre trying cannabis for Parkinsons :
- Never substitute medical marijuana for your PD medications and always work with your doctor as there may be potential drug interactions.
- Understand that cannabis remains unregulated and the effects can vary by strain. Try to stay consistent when you find one you like and buy from the same source.
- You may also want to experiment with patches or cannabis-infused creams for relief of localized pain on your body.
Medical marijuana in Florida has been legalized for debilitating medical conditions and Parkinsons disease is included.
Parkinsons Disease And Cbmps
The survey, conducted among members of the German Parkinson Association , assessed patient perceptions of medicinal cannabis and evaluated the experiences of patients already using cannabis products.
Over 1,300 responses to the survey were analysed by the team, which found that interest in the Parkinsons Disease community in medical cannabis was high, but knowledge about different types of products was limited. 51% of respondents were aware of the legality of medicinal cannabis in Germany, and 28% were aware of the various routes of administration , but only 9% were aware of the difference between THC and CBD.
Dr Carsten Buhmann, Department of Neurology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, said: Medical cannabis was legally approved in Germany in 2017 when approval was given for therapy-resistant symptoms in severely affected patients independent of diagnosis and without clinical evidence-based data.
PD patients fulfilling these criteria are entitled to be prescribed medical cannabis, but there are few data about which type of cannabinoid and which route of administration might be promising for which PD patient and which symptoms. We also lack information about the extent to which the PD community is informed about medicinal cannabis and whether they have tried cannabis and, if so, with what result.
Can Cbd Help With Parkinsons Disease Symptoms
Leehey is principal investigator of a randomized, double-blind study of cannabidiol , one of the most concentrated of the hundreds of compounds in the cannabis plant. The question: can CBD effectively reduce symptoms of motor disorders, such as tremor, in patients with Parkinsons disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disorder, compared to a placebo?
Grant funding from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment helps to support the study, which launched in 2018 with the goal of having 60 patients complete it. COVID-19 halted patient recruitment the past year, but its back underway, with 53 patients enrolled as of early March, said Leeheys senior professional research assistant, Dr. Ying Liu. Forty have completed the study, Liu added.
The primary outcome measure for the study is the MDS-Unified Parkinsons Disease Rating Scale , which evaluates a host of motor functions. But Leehey and her team also are looking at no fewer than 56 secondary outcome measures everything from liver function to sleep patterns to depression and cognition.
Managing and analyzing all that data is complex. But the challenges go further.
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Risks And Benefits For People With Pd
There are risks and benefits associated with the use of cannabis for people with PD. Benefits include a possible improvement in anxiety, pain management, sleep dysfunction, weight loss and nausea. Potential adverse effects include: impaired cognition , dizziness, blurred vision, mood and behavioral changes, loss of balance and hallucinations. Chronic use of marijuana can increase risk of mood disorders and lung cancer.
Natural Treatment For Parkinsons #1 Cannabis/medicalmarijuana:
Cannabis, aka medical marijuana, is an incredibletreatment for Parkinsons disease. You can have a Parkinsons patient shakingviolently and uncontrollably, and yet within 30-40 minutes of self-administering with some cannabis, their symptoms will almost completely disappear. Watch this short 2minute video from Parkinsons sufferer, Ian Frizell, who shows you what he waslike before self-medicating with cannabis and then again after. The change is truly astonishing!
Taylor French is another Parkinsons patient thatundergoes a remarkable transformation once he ingests what he calls nutritional vegetable extract . This guy has an advanced form ofParkinsons and is normally confined to a wheelchair with limited use of hisbody due to stiff and rigid muscles . But after ingestingsome cannabis hes able to walk, and incredibly, in his video he even getsinto his car and drives off down the road!
You can view it here
Elyse Del Francia also tells the story of her Parkinsonssuffering husband, and the time she decided to smother his morning pancakes withsome canabutter. She said
Within45 minutes of eating a pancake with marijuana on it, he stopped shaking. Thatwas my lightbulb moment. Thats when I knew that I was onto something thatwould relieve his pain and suffering, because its horrible, horrible, to haveParkinsons Disease and not have any relief. I feel that this is something thathelps so many people in so many ways with pain and suffering. 5
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Can Cbd Treat Parkinsons Disease
Research on treating Parkinsons disease with CBD is still in its early stages. However, recent evidence has emerged suggesting CBD can benefit patients living with the disease.
CBD has been shown to have neuroprotective and antipsychotic effects. It may also improve sleep disturbances and quality of life in Parkinsons patients.
A 2005 study published in the journal Neurobiology of Disease was one of the earliest studies to show that CBD may help Parkinsons disease. The researchers found that CBD had neuroprotective effects in animal models of Parkinsons.
Since then, more research on CBD and Parkinsons has emerged. Overall, studies indicate that CBD may be able to improve many aspects of Parkinsons disease, including movement impairments, psychosis, sleep disturbances, and quality of life.
What Causes Parkinsons Disease
Parkinsons comes under the dementia umbrella. Its adegenerative disease of the nervous system that causes a loss of motor skillsand intentional movement. When someone has Parkinsons, the part of the brainthat controls muscular movements and mood function doesnt receive enough ofthe crucial dopamine chemical. Without enough dopamine, bodily movements,learning abilities and mood levels are severely affected. So-called normalfunctions such as speaking, writing, swallowing, walking and sleeping become difficultto perform. These challenges, combined with a lowering of mood levels is whymany Parkinsons patients suffer with depression.
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Study Probes Whether Cbd Helps For Parkinsons Disease Symptoms
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.
Uncertain Responses To Cbd
Both men completed the CBD trial. Neither felt any positive effects after taking the drug, although their experiences were different.
Mullen thinks he got the placebo. I kept wanting to feel something different, he said, but I didnt feel anything. He is anxious to see the results of the trial and added that he would still be willing to take CBD to treat his Parkinsons disease symptoms.
Preusser is convinced that he did get the CBD, explaining that after the first administration he felt lightheaded. Things werent quite as concrete and were more ethereal than how I commonly perceive my surroundings, he said.
The dizziness forced him to go to another room at the clinic to lie down. He said at his second visit, he got half the dose, which seemed to diminish the side effect.
But like Mullen, Preusser said he derived no benefit from whatever he took. I didnt notice any diminishment of my tremor or change in my level of cognition, he said. He remains open, however, to the idea that CBD could help some people with Parkinsons disease.
I understand that every patient is different, he said. It may work miracles for the next guy. For me, not so, but there may be a point when I might reconsider or something may prompt a different assessment.
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