Frustrated Parkinson’s disease sufferers may want to consider turning to cannabis to help with their discomforts. A growing number of reports are suggesting that cannabidiol (CBD), the main non-psychotropic component of the Cannabis sativa plant, can improve tremors and possibly save neurons from damage caused by the disease. So, what’s the link between Parkinson’s disease and marijuana?
Scientific researchers around the global are looking at whether cannabidiol can actually counteract the neurodegenerative effects of the condition. And while organizations like the Parkinson’s Foundation warn about the risks of using marijuana, their website lists the benefits of using it for possible improvement in anxiety, pain management, sleep dysfunction, weight loss and nausea.
Cannabis Helps PD Sufferers with Rapid Eye Movement Sleep Behavior Disorder
Another way cannabis may help those with Parkinson’s disease is by helping them sleep better. In a 2014 study published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics cannabidiol was shown to improve behaviors associated with Rapid Eye Movement Sleep Behavior Disorder in Parkinson’s disease patients.
It’s common for patients with Rapid Eye Movement Sleep Behavior Disorder to act out their dreams, and risk injuring themselves or others. RBD-related behaviors range in severity from loud talking, swearing, laughing and shouting to reaching, grabbing, leaping out of bed, and crawling, according to the Sleep Foundation.
In the study they found that patients treated with CBD had a prompt and substantial reduction in the frequency of RBD-related events, and without side effects.
Modulating the endogenous cannabinoid system is emerging as a potentially viable option in the treatment of neurodegeneration.
How CBD for Parkinson’s can Help Neurodegeneration
What happens when we take medical marijuana? The endocannabinoid system is a group of neurons and chemicals in our bodies and brains that responds to the cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. It’s precisely this fascinating response that science hopes to find out more about to help not only Parkinson’s sufferers, but hundreds of other diseases.
For now, scientific articles such as “The Influence of Cannabinoids on Generic Traits of Neurodegeneration” published in The British Journal of Pharmacology in 2014 are just one of the many. In this article it was concluded that “modulating the endogenous cannabinoid system is emerging as a potentially viable option in the treatment of neurodegeneration.” This means CBD for Parkinson’s is real, and should not be ignored.
Hope for the Future of Parkinson’s Research
According to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, the disease is an approved condition for use of medical marijuana in five states Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Mexico and New York).
And while Fox’s foundation has supported pre-clinical research concentrated on determining if cannabinoids could help in Parkinson’s, they still pronounce research on cannabinoids and Parkinson’s to date inconclusive. They also point to pre-clinical studies that have seen improvement in motor symptoms due to cannabis, although the results remain varied.
But they are optimistic about one thing: there’s data that suggests that cannabinoids have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and other neuroprotective properties for people with Parkinson’s and when it comes to Parkinson’s disease and marijuana, this alone provides some light at the end the tunnel for now.
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