People with Parkinson’s are asking if medical marijuana can help with their condition. Many Parkinson’s patients are curious to know about how medical marijuana can for their different symptoms and what the research says.
Many states have legalized the use of medical and recreational marijuana. This legalization has helped many people with several diseases including Parkinson’s. Patients who use cannabis for Parkinson’s have reported enhanced sleep, reduction in tremors, or other symptoms. Other patients are still unsure of discussing cannabis with their physicians.
Parkinson’s disease is a popular neurodegenerative disease that is second to Alzheimer’s disease. This disease currently has no cure, but its side effects can be relieved with prescription pills. These pharmaceutical pills usually come with tons of side effects that make life difficult for patients. However, could cannabis act as the perfect way to gain relief from the symptoms?
Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease of the central nervous system which mostly influences the part of the brain responsible for controlling movement. It highly affects people 60 years and above. A man is more liable to gain the condition than a woman.
What is Parkinson’s?
Parkinson’s disease destroys the neurons in a brain area known as substantia nigra. These neurons produce dopamine, which is essential in transmitting signals through the brain. Loss of dopamine disrupts signaling from the basal ganglia, the area responsible for controlling movement. Thus, the primary symptoms of Parkinson’s are motor symptoms.
The disease also comes with a characteristic shaking as well as other symptoms including stiffness, postural instability, and bradykinesia (slowness in executing movements). During its later stages, it can result in sensory, sleep, and emotional problems (depression or anxiety).
About 5% of Parkinson’s cases usually result from the mutation of certain genes. Nonetheless, in about 95% of Parkinson’s cases, the cause is unknown. Some say it’s a result of a combination of genetic predisposition and environmental factors.
Currently, Parkinson’s has no cure and medical cannabis may only help limit its symptoms.
Does Medical Marijuana help with Parkinson’s Disease?
In a study of 84 patients with Parkinson’s Disease who used cannabis as a treatment, over 46% gained relief and improved symptoms. Another study was conducted which administered CBD on six patients suffering from Parkinsonian Psychosis as a result of their Parkinson’s Disease. The six patients gained significant relief in their psychotic symptoms.
While Parkinson’s disease cannot be cured, it can be treated and made more tolerable by using medical marijuana.
Medical Marijuana for Parkinson’s Disease
The endocannabinoid receptors found in the brain contain numerous cannabinoid receptors that interact with neurons. This interaction helps regulate bodily functions such as thinking. Researchers have hopes that medical cannabis may prevent the damage these by Parkinson’s Disease. Cannabinoids can shield the brain cells using their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
There is still a need for more research on how cannabis can reduce or even treat Parkinson’s disease. Before using cannabis for Parkinson’s ensure to consult your local physician to get guides on how medical marijuana should be administered and how its long-term use can affect symptoms of PD.
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