Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month
Discover the benefits of CBD Oil for Parkinson’s Disease
April is Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month and as always, here at Plants Not Pills CBD we have done our best to compile recent and relevant data around Parkinson’s Disease and cannabinoid therapy.
What is Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a chronic neurodegenerative disorder that affects over 10 million people worldwide, with around 60,000 cases diagnosed yearly in the USA alone. The hallmark symptoms of the disease are tremors, rigidity, bradykinesia and postural instability. In the brain, the disease is characterized by the degradation of a specific type of cell, the nigrostriatal dopamine neurones, which causes a deficiency in dopamine and leads to the motor, cognitive and neuropsychological impairments associated with the disease.
Current medications aim to restore the balance in dopamine levels to provide relief of motor symptoms, but they do not address the cause or the progression of the disease. For many patients, these medications produce side effects such as dyskinesia (abnormal involuntary movements) which needs to be controlled with further medication.
CBD Oil and Medical Cannabis for Parkinson’s Disease
Medical cannabis and some of the active molecules derived from the Cannabis sativa plant are being investigated as potential therapies for PD both for the alleviation of motor and non-motor symptoms and for the potential to slow the progression of the disease. Below, we highlight some of the key findings in the clinical and experimental research of medical marijuana in PD.
The neuroprotective properties of CBD are thought to be due to its effect on neural cells mitochondria by inhibiting the production of superoxide ions and oxidative agents thus helping to prevent neurodegeneration (da Silva, et al., 2014), (Zuardi, 2008) and (Fernandez-Ruiz, et al., 2013). Furthermore, the prolonged activation of CB1 receptor by THC molecules in the CNS has shown to encourage new mitochondria formation (Chagas, et al., 2014). The increased level of mitochondrial activity is associated with decrease of intracellular free radicals, thus helping in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease (Zeissler, et al., 2013). In addition, the THC/CBD combination has shown to significantly improve quality of life and improve the motor disability and impairments, tremors, rigidity, bradykinesia, sleep and pain symptoms encountered by Parkinson’s disease patients (Lotan, Treves, Roditi & Djaldetti, 2014). Significant improvements in well being and overall quality of life qualitative scores were found in Parkinson’s disease patients undergoing CBD treatment (Chagas, et al., 2014). Furthermore some limited data also suggest that the use of CBD may help Parkinson’s’ disease later psychotic symptoms (Zuardi, et al., 2009).
Using Cannabis for the treatment of the motor symptoms of PD is not new. In fact, the first reported case of successful treatment of PD patients with a Cannabis tincture was reported in 1888 by Dr William Gowers in his book ‘A Manual of Diseases of the Nervous System’. In the last decade a number of clinical studies have evaluated the effectiveness of medical marijuana and cannabinoids for the treatment of PD motor symptoms. For example, in 2004, a clinical study carried out in 339 patients with PD showed that 46% of patients that used marijuana experienced improvements in general PD related symptoms and in specific symptoms including resting tremor (31%), rigidity (38%), reduced bradykinesia (45%) and alleviated dyskinesia (14%). Symptomatic improvement was directly related to the concentration of THC metabolites in the urine. These findings have been seen in additional studies, where improvements in sleep and reduction in pain were also recorded. Follow this link to read the study reports.
While these studies focused on motor symptoms, research has shown that medical marijuana can improve the quality of life of PD patients through the relief of non-motor symptoms including:
- Pain, the analgesic properties of cannabinoids are clinically well documented
- Depression, moderate use of cannabis can provide relief from depression
- Sleep disorders, the majority of PD patients suffer from sleep disorders and this negatively impacts their quality of life. Sleep problems can be caused by several factors including neurodegeneration and medication side effects.
Finally, research in-vitro and in mouse models of PD are examining the ability of cannabinoids to slow disease progression. Cannabinoids appear to have neuroprotective effects due to anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative activity and their ability to suppress exitotoxicity (a process that causes nerve cell damage). As we understand more about the intricate mechanics of the endocannabinoid system in humans and how these are disrupted in PD, phytocannabinoids could offer much needed new therapeutic options for patients.
Plants Not Pills Full Spectrum CBD Oil for Parkinson’s Disease Sufferers
As stated above, symptoms of PD are best alleviated through a combination of CBD and THC. Our organically cultivated Revive oil contains less than 0.2% THC, enough to release the entourage effect that activates all essential cannabinoids in the tincture. Clients who have purchased our Revive oil in 1200 mg and 2400 mg varieties have reported better sleep and a reduction in pain symptoms.
In addition, several patients who experience rigidity, bruising and stiffness have experienced significant improvement using our aptly named Relief Full Spectrum Muscle Gel.