According to statistics released by the Parkinson’s Foundation, more than a million people in the United States will likely be diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease by 2030.
PD affects movement skills and motor control in the affected person. In addition, it also negatively impacts mood and sleep. To make matters worse, a cure for PD has not yet been developed.
That said, medical research has indicated that CBD can be used by patients to decrease the symptoms of diseases ranging from PD and multiple sclerosis to migraine and anxiety.
Parkinson’s Disease Explained
Parkinson’s is a long-term disease that affects the central nervous system of the patient. Symptoms manifest themselves gradually. It starts with movement being hindered – limbs start to tremble and turn stiff, there is a loss of muscle coordination that can lead to a lack of balance. In the long run, patients may also lose the ability to walk and talk.
How Can CBD Help Treat Parkinson’s Disease
The traditional treatment options available to PD patients are focused on replacing dopamine to provide relief from the symptoms of loss of motor control.
According to the MDS Clinical Diagnostic Criteria for Parkinson’s Disease published in 2015, “Although motor abnormalities remain central, increasing recognition has been given to nonmotor manifestations; these are incorporated into both the current criteria and particularly into separate criteria for prodromal PD”.
A study, “Cannabidiol for the treatment of psychosis in Parkinson’s disease” published in 2009 selected 6 patients with a 3-month diagnosis of PD. In addition to the regular therapy, the patients were also administered a flexible dose of CBD starting at 15mg/day over 4 weeks.
“The psychotic symptoms evaluated by the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale and the Parkinson Psychosis Questionnaire showed a significant decrease under CBD treatment. CBD did not worsen the motor function and decreased the total scores of the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale. No adverse effect was observed during the treatment”.
Here are some of the documented benefits CBD may provide to patients suffering from Parkinson’s Disease –
Decline in Psychosis
The progress of PD leads to increased psychosis symptoms. A study showed that the use of CBD in patients with PD has the potential to decrease the level of psychotic delusions and hallucinations.
Improvement in Sleep Patterns
Research published in 2014 has shown that “Cannabidiol can improve complex sleep-related behaviors associated with rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder in Parkinson’s disease patients”.
The medical community is of the view that traditional anti-inflammatory medication can help prevent the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease by inhibiting the basic neuroinflammatory processes.
The Michael J Fox Foundation has sponsored a number of clinical experiments and studies that have shown that cannabinoids may be able to insulate the brain cells using their own anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Parkinson’s Disease is the Second Most Commonly Occurring Neurodegenerative Disorder
In the United States, Parkinson’s Disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease affecting people after Alzheimer’s. Across the world, PD is known to affect between 7 and 10 million people.
Parkinson’s Disease is a problem that deserves increased attention and medical research. The National Institute of Health has recently announced a grant of USD 3 million to fund a number of studies that research the use of CBD as an alternative medical treatment for PD.
According to the National Center for Complementary & Integrative Health, this research will not look at the use of medical marijuana or THC, instead focusing solely on the benefits of CBD in fighting the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.
CBD products that are derived from Hemp and contain less than the prescribed .3 percent of THC are legal per federal law. However, certain state laws may still deem it illegal.
CBD products that are derived from Marijuana are illegal per federal law but remain legal under the laws of certain states.
It is advisable to check the appropriate state laws in case of travel. It is important to note that over-the-counter CBD products are not approved by the FDA.