CBD(Cannabidiol) for Parkinson’s disease patients is emerging as the much sought out relief from the symptoms that plague their daily lives.
Parkinson’s disease is progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons. People that suffer from Parkinson’s disease are afflicted with a series of motor and cognitive symptoms that drastically affects their ability to lead a normal life.
- A fine tremor that appears during resting periods
- Bradykinesia – a paucity and slowness of movement. Patients can present loss of facial expression and associated movements such as arm swinging when walking.
- Postural Instability – arguably the most dangerous motor deficiency as it often leads to falls that result in life-threatening traumatism
- A motor block – this is essentially a freezing phenomenon. Typically, patients are suddenly unable to step forward when walking or complete their intended action. The freeze is transient and can last from seconds to minutes, after which it suddenly abates. This condition is often a major cause of anxiety and fear for those that suffer from Parkinson’s.
The most common cognitive and psychiatric manifestations are dementia and depression. In some cases, Parkinson’s can also cause delusions, hallucinations, irritability, anxiety and apathy. Also, they often have disturbing sensory symptoms and pain in affected limbs.
These cognitive afflictions can sometimes be more impactful than the motor problems and are unfortunately harder to diagnose, treat and control.
The medical treatment of Parkinson’s disease aims to control the symptoms and signs of this condition for as long as possible while keeping adverse effects to a minimum.
Levodopa coupled with Carbidopa is currently the gold standard symptomatic treatment for Parkinson’s disease.
While Levodopa provides the greatest control of motor symptoms and signs and presents the fewest adverse effects in the short term usage; long-term use of levodopa leads to side effects which are difficult to resolve.
CBD for treating Parkinson’s Disease
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the main components of Cannabis sativa, however, it does not have any psychoactive effects and it is safe for humans to consume. Pharmacological studies on CBD have shown that this compound has numerous beneficial properties for the human body, including:
- Neuroprotective effects
- Immune modulation
- Anti-arthritic agent
- Antiemetic effects
The neuroprotective properties of CBD have been receiving increasing attention from the medical community for potential use in treating neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson’s disease Huntington’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
CBD and Dopamine
Cannabinoids exert their effects by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system. By activating the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptor, CBD can actually modulate the release of dopamine at the central nervous system level.
Cannabinoids have been shown to increase both tonic and phasic dopamine transmission, as well as the activity of the systems that prevent dopamine neural activity. This increase in dopamine is one of the main reasons why CBD could be for Parkinson’s patients extremely beneficial.
CBD as a Neuroprotective Agent
Cannabidiol has demonstrated its ability to support the health of neural cells. Through its antioxidant properties, it prevents cell damage caused by free radicals, thus extending the life of neurons. It also has the ability to activate a receptor that encourages the formation of new mitochondria(the cell’s energy factory).
The cannabinoids are also able to suppress the glial activation, excitotoxicity, and oxidative injury that cause the degeneration of the dopamine-releasing neurons. Thus, further encouraging neuron longevity and health.
CBD for Parkinson’s Disease – Trial Results
While cannabinoids have not been able to prevent or stop the progression of the disease; they are able to help patients with Parkinson’s disease manage their symptoms and thus greatly improve their day to day life.
During studies that administered cannabis to Parkinson’s disease patients, impressive relief of symptoms was achieved. The patients saw significant improvements in motor disability and impairments, rigidity, tremors, bradykinesia, pain, and sleep.
More recent clinical trials found that cannabinoids can significantly reduce motor and pain symptoms in Parkinson’s disease patients as quick as 30 minutes after administration.
CBD is also a powerful anxiolytic that can also substantially improve sleep patterns, mood and decrease psychosis in Parkinson’s disease patients.
In one survey, Parkinson’s disease patients that have used cannabinoids to control their symptoms have ranked it as the most effective treatment option out of prayer, vitamins, massage, art therapy, relaxation, and music therapy.
- Effects of cannabidiol in the treatment of patients with Parkinson’s disease
- Cannabidiol for the treatment of psychosis in Parkinson’s disease
- Cannabinoids provide neuroprotection
- Cannabidiol can improve complex sleep-related behaviors in Parkinson’s disease patients
- Therapeutic potential of cannabinoids in CNS disease
If you would like to know more about the CBD and its benefits for the human body, we recommend you read our Breakthrough in Cannabis Curing Cancer Research and Medical Marijuana for Hypothyroidism articles.
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