Parkinson’s disease is not an uncommon condition. Studies show that it comes second after Alzheimer’s disease. In the US alone, there are up to 60,000 new diagnoses of Parkinson’s disease in a year.
What is Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s is a long-term disorder of the central nervous system. Its symptoms start gradually and it majorly affects the movement of an individual. It is characterized by stiffness, trembling of limbs as well as imbalances, loss of muscle control, and with time, the patient loses the ability to talk or even walk. Parkinson’s Disease has no cure. Doctors have been known to suggest surgical procedures to their patients to regulate some regions of the brain in order to improve the symptoms.
Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease
- Tremor – a tremor, or shaking, usually begins in a limb, often your hand or fingers.
- Speech changes – you may speak softly, quickly, slur or hesitate before talking.
- Writing changes – it may become hard to write, and your writing may appear smaller than usual
- Loss of automatic movements – you may have a decreased ability to perform unconscious movements such as blinking, smiling or moving your arms while walking.
- Slowed movement (bradykinesia) – over time, Parkinson’s disease may slow your movement, making simple tasks difficult and time-consuming.
- Rigid muscles – muscle stiffness may occur in any part of your body.
- Impaired posture and balance – your posture may become stooped, or you may have problems with your balance.
Why Can CBD Work For Treating Parkinson’s Disease?
The idea of CBD for treating or managing Parkinson’s disease is still new to many people. However, the latest evidence shows that CBD can actually treat some of the symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease, like sleep disturbances, psychosis, and impaired movement.
CBD is extracted from cannabis and made into an oil. The hemp plant has Cannabidiol and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) as its two major components. CBD oil is extracted from hemp plants with a high concentration of Cannabidiol and very low concentration of its psychoactive cousin THC. This is why CBD is very effective in treatment without it being psychoactive.
The Endocannabinoid system in our bodies fights against our outer body state by maintaining an inner balance thus regulating our mood, appetite, temperature, etc. The main cannabinoid receptors located throughout the body are called CB1 and CB2. CBD oil, when bonded to these receptors, helps the brain in producing more dopamine which is known to inhibit the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
A study conducted in 20171 showed that CBD blocks a receptor known as GPR6 which is known to cause some impaired movements in a patient with Parkinson’s. Another study showed positive results and improved quality of life for patients with the disease without any other psychiatric disorder.
What Are The Benefits of Using CBD to Treat Parkinson’s Disease?
CBD is gaining popularity with time in the wellness and health world. Scientists confirm that it may be able to help different ailments like pain and anxiety. Some of the benefits of using CBD to treat Parkinson’s disease include:
According to a recent study, 75 mg to 300 mg of CBD proved very effective in treating sleep disorders, which is a very common side effect of Parkinson’s disease. When patients have an improved sleep cycle, it adds to their quality of life.
The Endocannabinoid System & Parkinson’s Disease
The Endocannabinoid System is a very important modulatory system in the immune tissues as well as the endocrine, and brain functions. It plays a major role in secreting hormones that are related to the body’s response to stress and its reproductive functions. The two important receptors of this system are known as CB1 and CB2.
This system is known to modulate a big range of our bodies’ physiological functions. These include motor control, pain, mood, feeding behavior, and cognition. Parkinson’s disease affects most of these bodily functions. This means it directly affects the endocannabinoid system. In order for a patient to be able to manage the symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease, like the lack of motor functions, pain, interrupted sleep, etc., the endocannabinoid system should always perform at its peak, failure to which the patient will experience the symptoms and this will make their life hard to manage and control. The use of CBD helps to improve the receptors in the system which in turn will increase the overall functionality of the endocannabinoid system.
How Can I Use CBD to Treat Parkinson’s Disease?
You can incorporate CBD in your exercise to lessen the sensation of pain. Another way to use CBD in your recovery is by taking it after a long day. CBD oil can be used as a cream or lotion. You can apply it to relieve pain on part of the body and as a nerve relief.
A few drops of CBD oil ingested helps in controlling the shaking and tremors and even slowed movements.
Whether you are using CBD oil as a first timer or if you are an experienced user, it is important to follow the right dosage for treatment. Start small and increase gradually according to your symptoms and as directed by the physician.
CBD capsules are also available for use for individuals with Parkinson disease, follow the correct dosage and consult with your doctor on how it is working for you. Remember everyone is different so the reaction will differ from person to person even if the symptoms are the same. Therefore, start slowly and see how your body responds to the CBD oil.
To take CBD oil orally, hold it under the tongue for a few seconds before you swallow it. Other oral ways you can take CBD oil is in edibles like chocolate bars, chewing gum, or even mouth strips.
What Are Studies Saying About Using CBD For Parkinson’s Disease?
Over the years, studies have shown that early diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease can lead to better management of it over time. Researchers have continued to develop new kinds of treatments for those suffering from Parkinson’s Disease. Some of the recent treatment areas being studied include gene therapy, the use of stem cells and fetal cell transplantation.
Research has so far made some remarkable progress. Scientists now say that there is hope that the cause whether environmental or generic, will be identified and their effects on the functionality of the brain are understood.
- Peres, Fernanda F., et al. „Cannabidiol as a promising strategy to treat and prevent movement disorders?.“ Frontiers in pharmacology 9 (2018).