cbd for essential tremor
8 min.

We have already talked about the healing properties of CBD when treating Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease and substance withdrawal. But how are these conditions related to essential tremor and where does CBD come in?

It turns out that essential tremor could either be passed genetically from afflicted family members or could be a side-effect of these above-mentioned conditions.

As there has been medical proof that CBD can effectively treat Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease and substance withdrawal, one can only hope that this will also be the case when it comes to essential tremor. In this article, we will look at the relationship between CBD and essential tremor.

CBD is a cannabinoid derived from the cannabis plant that has no psychotropic effect, also known as hemp. It does not cause the symptoms of dizziness or euphoria otherways associated with cannabis use. It has many therapeutic properties, low toxicity, and its minimum, or in some cases none, side effects.

What exactly is essential tremor?

Essential tremors usually occur in the hands, presenting in up and down movements. However, they can also affect the arms, head, face, and larynx (voice box), which results in a shaky voice. People with essential tremors may remain undiagnosed for a longer time, as at first, the symptoms are rather discreet and can be easily mistaken with ordinary tremor. Ordinary tremor affects most people and is considered normal, especially after the use of caffeine and cigarettes.

Tremors can range from minor to severe. Minor tremors may not affect your everyday life, but some severe cases can seriously interfere with a person’s daily activities.

As mentioned before, tremors can occur in different body parts, therefore the symptoms can vary. The most common symptoms of essential tremor go as follows:

  • Noticeable shakiness in the hands or arms when writing, holding thing or using your hands in general;
  • Involuntary movements of the head and neck such as shaking in an up-and-down or side-to-side motion;
  • Twitchy eyelids;
  • Tremors in the tongue or voice box make a person’s voice sound shaky when speaking;
  • Abnormal walking or loss of balance are common for tremors in a person’s core, legs, and feet;

Essential tremor usually affects people over the age of 40. Nonetheless, genetics also play a crucial role when it comes to this condition, as essential tremor can also be inherited. If essential tremor runs in the family, it is referred to as “ familial tremor”. Parents who have developed this condition carry a 50% chance of passing it to their children.

Conventional treatment of essential tremor

There is no known cure for essential tremor, however, doctors offer several treatments to keep the condition at bay. These include anti-seizure drugs, brain surgery, also known as deep brain stimulation (DBS) and ultrasound MRI treatment, aiming to destroy tissue in the thalamus.

All these treatments have proven some success, however, they are quite invasive and expensive.

CBD and essential tremor – an alternative treatment

CBD oil for essential tremor can provide an alternative and less invasive treatment of this condition. Medical research has already extensively looked into cannabinoids and their ability to relax the muscles and calm seizure-like behavior1.

Perhaps the most powerful property of CBD is its direct connection to the endocannabinoid system (ECS). ECS and its endocannabinoid receptors are the main regulators of our bodily functions such as pain, hunger, emotions, etc., which also means that when there is an internal issue, it is up to that system to initiate the healing process. Consuming CBD increases the production of endocannabinoids in the body, which enhances the healing process.

Related article: The Endocannabinoid System

When using CBD oil for essential tremor the cannabinoids in the oil can target and regulate the ESC receptors responsible for the muscle movement. These are located in both the brain and throughout the body. By regulating these receptors CBD oil enables relaxation, reduce inflammation, and ease symptoms of tremors. There have been studies that confirm these interactions and confirm that CBD can effectively act as a neuroprotectant2.

The already existing research has sparked a lot of interest recently and CBD may be on its way of becoming an official treatment for essential tremor.

This is because The University of California in San Diego Research has officially started a trial on the effects of CBD and THC on essential tremor3. The trial has been FDA approved and is expected to release the result as the end of 2019. The lead investigator of this clinical trial, Dr. Fatta Nahab is very passionate about finding an adequate treatment for essential tremor in the face of CBD. She shared her opinion by saying: “Essential tremor is 10 times more common than Parkinson’s and yet nobody really knows about essential tremor. That we’re finally getting to a potential therapeutic option in an area that is untapped is a big deal.”

CBD for essential tremor: Dosage and Use

There are two ways to take CBD for essential tremor. As everyone’s reaction to CBD is different, we encourage people to experiment unit they find the one that gives them the best essential tremor relief.

  • Sublingual
    CBD oil comes in small bottles with a dropper. A couple of drops are put under the tongue and then the oil is absorbed into the body.
  • Vaping CBD E-Liquids
    A faster way to feel the relief and perhaps one of the most popular natural remedies for essential tremor is to vape CBD E-liquids. The vapor enters the lungs and speedily reaches the bloodstream, providing a calming (not psychoactive) effect

When it comes to dosing CBD, there is no one-size-fits-all method. As mentioned before, everyone’s reaction to CBD is different, so you have to listen to your body and take notice of improvement.

We always recommend a step-up approach, described in the book “CBD: A Patient’s Guide To Medical Cannabis” by Leonard Leinow4. This approach suggest to start low, such as 1 drop, 3 times a day and gradually increase the dosage every 3 days, until you reach 3 drops, 3 times a day. On average, 25mg a pay is a sufficient amount for someone with non-severe symptoms.

Related article: CBD dosage guide

Success Stories

There are many testimonials online regarding the effectiveness of CBD over essential tremor. A CBD shop recently published the story of a customer, expressing their gratitude and revealing the positive effect CBD products have had on her conditoin. The woman claims her struggles with essential tremor and porphyria have been eliminated thanks to CBD products.

Conclusion

CBD for essential tremor can be effective. The “twitching” motions can be greatly reduced, resulting in normal daily activities. Whether the oil is taken orally, or an e-liquid is vaped, there is evidence that CBD works well for a large number of people. As a much safer and inexpensive (in comparison to other drug treatment and surgery), it is an effective way to improve day-to-day life.

Essential tremor does not always need treatment. If the condition isn’t seriously impacting your life regularly, then alternative action might be all that is required to manage the symptoms.

References

  1. Gloss D und Vickrey B. „Cannabinoids for epilepsy.“ PubMed Cochrane Database Syst Rev. (2014)  []
  2. Joseph Maroon und Jeff Bost. „Review of the neurological benefits of phytocannabinoids“ Surgical Neurology International(2018) []
  3. Fatta B Nahab „Trial of Cannabis for Essential Tremor“ Clinical Trials (2019) []
  4. Leinow,, L. and Birnbaum, J. (2017). CBD: A Patient’s Guide to Medicinal Cannabis. North Atlantic Books. []

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Comments

  1. AvatarBridget

    I would like to mention that I bought CBD oil for my dog’s arthritis and tried it on myself – not specifically for my familial tremor, but just to see if I felt any difference since I wasn’t worried about toxicity or ill effects. I unintentionally discovered that it works like a bomb for my tremor. I am no longer taking beta-blockers (which decreased all of my senses – not just the tremor). A word of caution – slowly wean yourself off the beta-blockers or you’ll feel like you are having heart failure. You may want to (should probably) inform your doctor as well if you do have a heart condition and are being prescribed medication for your essential tremor.

    1. Hemppedia TeamHemppedia Team

      Dear Bridget,

      Thank you for your inspiring comment! It is amazing to hear that CBD has helped you improve your quality of life. We would love to hear more about your experience if you want to share it with us!

      Nonetheless, we would advise you to only consume CBD products, intended for human use, instead of for dogs. While the CBD content is the same, the standards for producing products for human use are a lot higher in comparison to the products intended for animal use, meaning that some of the ingredients in the CBD oil for dogs might not be quite suitable for human consumption.

      Best regards,

      The Hemppedia Team

  2. AvatarPam

    I have essential tremor that I do not consider to be severe, but does interrupt activities of daily living. I asked my physician if it would be a good idea to try CBD and she said, yes you can certainly try it. She mentioned that she was concerned about the ingredients in some of the CBD products. I’m still researching.

    1. Hemppedia TeamHemppedia Team

      Dear Pam,

      Your physician is absolutely right! You should always do your research before you purchase anything. Some CBD oils contain more ingredients than others. This is mainly due to the different filtration processes. Some oils are filtered from waxes and other by-products and contain just cannabinoids and terpenes. It might be a good idea to also ask other CBD users for their experience and recommendations. A great place to do this is in CBD support groups on Facebook like this one https://www.facebook.com/groups/989690568041150/

      We wish you all the best in your CBD journey and hope you find the right products for your needs
      Best regards,

      The Hemppedia Team

  3. AvatarJudi Cummings

    Hello. My name is Judi. I’m wondering if anyone would happen know of any place that would accept me as a clinical trial patient for the use of CBD. I’ve had severe Essential Tremors since June 2002. I’m on disability and don’t know if I can afford CBD, and have even yet to try it in anyway. After asking my family doctor about myself maybe trying it, her response to me was “I wouldn’t recommend you trying it”. I’m at my wit’s end! I would very much appreciate any responses back to me. Thank you for taking the time to read this. God bless.

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