Scientists believe that the development of Parkinson’s is related to the human endocannabinoid system - which is also affected by CBD. By taking cannabis-derived products we can start to see improvements in the lives of people who are suffering from the disease.
CBD Oil For Parkinson’s: The Highlights
- Parkinson’s disease is closely linked to the endocannabinoid system.
- CBD oil can help to slow down the development of Parkinson’s.
- CBD can improve the lives of Parkinson’s sufferers by helping to deal with the symptoms.
- CBD can help to raise dopamine levels in the brain.
- CBD oil derived from hemp is legal after the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill.
What is CBD?
Unless you’ve been living on a desert island over the last few years, you will have probably heard of CBD. CBD stands for cannabidiol, and it a natural compound that is found in the cannabis or hemp plant.
CBD can offer a number of health benefits to those who take it, through its effect on on the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is responsible for the regulation of a number of factors in the human body, ensuring that it is working at optimum levels.
CBD is a phytocannabinoid, which when taken, can work in a similar way to the endocannabinoids which are naturally produced in the body, enhancing the effectiveness of the system.
CBD is safe to use, non-addictive, completely natural and has no serious side effects.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is one of the most popular CBD products. The CBD is extracted from the cannabis plant or hemp plant and mixed with a carrier oil like MCT oil, coconut oil or olive oil - which helps it to get better absorbed into the body.
What is Parkinson's Disease?
According to the Parkinson’s Foundation, Parkinson’s disease affects around 10 million people throughout the world. It is a neurodegenerative disease which affects the central nervous system which can result in the loss of motor control and life-inhibiting symptoms such as:
- A slowing down of movement
In addition to these problems, people who suffer from Parkinson’s disease also often suffer from:
- sleep problems
Parkinson’s Disease develops as a result of low levels of dopamine in the brain. This is the chemical which helps to control motor functions, giving physical control of movement in the body.
People who suffer from Parkinson’s have depleted levels of dopamine-producing neurons, by 60-80%.
Scientists still don’t know exactly what causes some people to get Parkinson’s disease and others not, but it is thought that there could be a number of factors, such as exposure to pesticides, digestive problems, genetic predisposition, and head injuries.
This makes it difficult to treat, and at present, there is no cure for Parkinson’s.
There do appear to be some things that can be done to slow down its progression, however, and some of the symptoms that Parkinson’s can present can also be treated.
CBD and Parkinson’s: What The Research Says
Although CBD is being seen as a glimmer of hope for those who suffer from Parkinson’s disease, there is still little medical research to back it up.
In fact, there is evidence that people as far back as in the 19th century were using cannabis to help treat Parkinson’s disease, but of course, this doesn’t constitute clinical evidence!
Due to the fact that cannabis has for so long been classified as illegal, we have seen a limited amount of medical research being done. However, recent changes in the laws and developments in research mean that we are now able to see more and more studies being carried out.
A study which was carried out in 2009 by Zuardi, Crippa, Hallak, Pinto, Chagas, Rodrigues, Dursun & Tumas from the Department of Neuropsychiatry and Medical Psychology, Ribeirão Preto Medical School, and the University of São Paulo, found that in their assessment of 6 people with Parkinson’s Disease, CBD improved their symptoms.
Marijuana has also been studied and how it can help those dealing with Parkinson’s.
The study by Lotan, Treves, Roditi & Djaldetti in 2014 found that in a group of 22 people, smoking marijuana showed improvements in pain, sleep, tremors, slow movement, and rigidity. It is worth noting, however, there the trial did not include a placebo.
Endocannabinoid System and Parkinson’s Disease
The endocannabinoid system is made up of cannabinoid receptors (known as CB1 and CB2) and endocannabinoids. When there is a deficiency in endocannabinoids, we begin to see health issues.
The endocannabinoid system has a huge impact on Parkinson’s disease.
The part of the brain which is affected by Parkinson’s - the basal ganglia - has a high concentration of CB1 receptors, and when these receptors aren’t stimulated enough, we begin to see dopamine levels dropping.
And when these dopamine levels get to a severely low level, this is when Parkinson’s disease can develop.
Scientists believe that if these missing endocannabinoids can be replaced by the phytocannabinoids which are present in the cannabis plant they’ll be able to slow down or eliminate the development of Parkinson’s disease and help to reduce the symptoms.
Cannabinoids As Neuroprotectants
In contrast to most of the treatment for Parkinson’s Disease - which is based on dealing with the low levels of dopamine, cannabinoids such as CBD offer a different benefit.
Scientists believe that some cannabinoids can act as a neuroprotectant, meaning that the fact that it has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties can protect the neurons in the brain.
CBD or THC for Parkinson’s?
Two of the main cannabinoids in the cannabis plant are CBD and THC. Although they are similar (almost identical), they each can have a very different impact on the brain.
THC, for example, is the compound which will give you the ‘high’ that is often associated with cannabis, whereas CBD won’t. The way that people react to CBD and THC can vary.
For some people with Parkinson’s, higher levels of THC have proven to be effective, and for others, less. However, whether you decide to use CBD or CBD and THC together will more than likely be decided for you by the law.
There are many places where higher levels of THC are illegal (although CBD is generally legal), meaning that you won’t be able to get CBD with higher levels of THC in it. If it IS legal where you are, it is best to experiment to see what suits you the best.
How CBD Helps With Parkinson’s
CBD can help people to deal with Parkinson’s Disease in a number of ways. Scientists are very hopeful about its potential as it can help people with the condition to both fights it at the core as well as relieve some of its symptoms.
Delays Disease Progression
The protein receptor, GPR6 can have an effect on dopamine levels in the brain and scientists have found that CBD can activate these receptors. The result is that dopamine levels can be increased, which can help to slow down the progression of Parkinson’s Disease.
Improves Motor Symptoms
Dopamine is critical to a person’s motor skills. By increasing the amount of dopamine in their brain, Parkinson’s sufferers can see improvements in their motor symptoms.
Helps With Anxiety
Anxiety is common in people with Parkinson’s due to the lack of dopamine (which also affects our ability to feel pleasure) as well as the psychological result of having a serious condition. CBD is anxiolytic, meaning that it can help to reduce anxiety, by helping the body to produce more dopamine and serotonin.
CBD can help to improve certain parts of the brain which means that people can sleep better. It also can be useful to help people to relax, meaning that CBD can help improve sleep for Parkinson’s sufferers.
Decreases Psychotic Symptoms
The accumulation of the symptoms of Parkinson’s can mean that sufferers will often experience psychotic episodes. The properties of CBD can help to reduce stress and fight against these psychotic symptoms.
CBD Products For Parkinson’s
There are a number of ways that people with Parkinson’s can take CBD. There is no ‘best way’, and which method you decide on is down to personal preference.
CBD oils can be taken by drops or spray under the tongue and are a quick and effective way to get your CBD. When you are buying CBD oil, you will have a choice of:
- Full Spectrum CBD Oil - CBD with all of the other compounds of the plant included, and the most effective option.
- CBD Isolate - containing up to 99% CBD. Although the ‘purest’ form, it is also less effective than the other two options.
- Broad Spectrum CBD Oil - CBD with some of the other compounds of the plant but no THC - not as effective as full-spectrum, but more than CBD isolate.
Another option for people with Parkinson’s is to take CBD through gummies or edibles. These are easy (and enjoyable) to take as well as easy to get an exact dose.
Recommended CBD Dosage For Parkinson’s Disease
The amount of CBD that each person needs is different, and this is why it is difficult to give exact recommended doses. For Parkinson’s, it is recommended to start off with 20-25 mg CBD per day and increase it or decrease it every couple of days until you find the best dose.
Side Effects of Taking CBD For Parkinson’s
There are no long term adverse side effects of taking CBD for Parkinson's. Some people, however, will feel some side effects. These can include:
- Increased symptoms of anxiety
- Increased Parkinson’s disease tremors
- Lower blood pressure
- Fatigue or drowsiness
- Dry mouth
CBD Oil For Parkinson’s: Parting Words
Parkinson’s is a serious disease that can severely affect people’s lives. There is, however, increasing amounts of research and anecdotal evidence to suggest that CBD and other cannabinoids from the cannabis plant can help.
For people who suffer from Parkinson’s, CBD has the potential to be life-changing, not only in slowing down its progression but also treating its symptoms.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Does CBD Oil Help With Parkinson's?
- Which CBD Oil Is Best For Parkinson's Disease?
- Which Is Better For Parkinson's Indica or Sativa?
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Always check with your doctor before starting a new dietary supplement program.