Parkinson’s Disease is a gradual breakdown of the nerve cells in the brain, which may result in tremors, a slowdown in movement, muscle stiffness, among others. This disorder of the nervous system is prevalent in older people and has no cure whatsoever. But medics and people with Parkinson’s disease have explored alternative methods and therapies that could help manage associated symptoms. Such useful therapies include medical cannabis (medical marijuana). Here is an in-depth analysis to help you better understand how CBD Oil can help manage Parkinson’s disease symptoms and the science behind it.
According to American Parkinson’s Disease Association (APDA), Parkinson’s disease is defined as a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement, thereby inhibiting an individual’s ability to perform common daily tasks. Often, this condition starts gradually, with barely noticeable symptoms such as muscle stiffness, slowed movement, or hand tremor. At the early stages of diagnosis, Parkinson’s disease may manifest itself in the form of expressionless face, soft or slurred speech, inability to swing arms while taking a walk, among others. But as the condition progresses, symptoms worsen.
Parkinson’s disease has no cure. But medications are administered to improve the signs and symptoms aimed at improving a patient’s quality of life. For those diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, doctors often conduct brain stimulation surgeries to improve symptoms.
Causes and Symptoms of Parkinson’ Disease
To better understand how CBD Oil works to alleviate Parkinson’s disease-associated symptoms, it would be in your best interest to know the origins and symptoms of this disease. Parkinson’s disease is a nervous system disorder where certain brain neurons break down gradually and die. The most affected neurons are those that produce dopamine – your brain’s chemical messenger. Breakdown of these cells means reduced dopamine levels, which causes dysfunctional brain activity that often leads to motion impairment.
The root cause of Parkinson’s disease is unknown, but factors such as genetics and environmental triggers appear to pit someone into susceptibility to this condition. Research has shown that certain genetic markers increase one’s risk of Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson’s disease symptoms can vary from one person to another, and early-stage signs may go unnoticed, making diagnosis difficult. Nonetheless, the common symptoms include:
- Tremors are sudden involuntary shaking or trembling of body parts such as hands, limbs, etc.
- Rigid or stiff muscles.
- Unnatural or impaired posture and balance.
- The slowdown in movement over time may manifest in the form of one being unable to get out of a chair or dragging their feet while walking.
- Loss of involuntary movement such as inability to smile, swing arms, or even blink.
- Loss of speech.
- Reduced sensitivity to smells.
- Psychotic symptoms such as delusions or hallucinations.
Conventional Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease
To date, no cure has been identified for this condition. But patients can take medication that aids motor function, as well as those that alleviate symptoms. Such medicines include Carbidopa and Levodopa. Some severe cases require deep brain stimulation surgery where electrodes are implanted in a patient’s brain and stimulated remotely. But in the past few years, the APDA has recommended complementary therapies and medicine such as massage and yoga for movement impairment. And studies have shown that CBD oil can help manage most of these symptoms.
CBD Oil for Parkinson’s Disease
Cannabidiol Oil (CBD) is a natural and non-psychoactive extract of industrial hemp and the Cannabis Sativa plant that has proved to be a therapeutic remedy for many conditions. Focused research on CBD oil has shown that it possesses brain and nervous benefits that could help people suffering from neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. And while it isn’t a direct cure for this condition, CBD oil can help improve patients’ quality of life by reducing symptoms associated with the disease.
CBD for Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms
When it comes to matters CBD, research is often small scale and limited because the focus on this substance intensified a few decades ago. And while more research is still needed to establish the benefits of CBD oil for conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, preliminary studies, and clinical trials show promising results. Some studies CBD can help manage both motor and non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease in the following ways:
Essential tremor is a common symptom of Parkinson’s disease that involves sudden involuntary trembling of body parts. Using medicine could worsen this condition, but studies suggest that CBD Oil can help ease such involuntary muscle movements.
Psychosis is a brain disorder linked to Parkinson’s disease, and it can lead to delusions and hallucinations in the advanced stages of the disease. And because no medication exists, some people have explored CBD’s potential to ease this symptom and gave positive feedback.
CBD Oil, via interaction with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), has been known to activate CB1 and CB2 receptors that regulate how the brain perceives pain. Besides, it has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce pain originating from inflammation.
People with Parkinson’s disease find it hard to catch sleep. But CBD has a calming anti-anxiety property that can help patients stop overthinking and catch some sleep.
Benefits of Using CBD Oil for Parkinson’s Disease
As mentioned earlier, CBD’s therapeutic benefits extend beyond people who have Parkinson’s disease. Research conducted and published in 2018 by the Frontiers in Pharmacology revealed that CBD oil increases endocannabinoid anandamide, which activates hormones and receptors that regulate symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease. A separate study conducted by the National Institute of Health (NIH) arrived at the same conclusion.
This study found CBD oil interesting, especially because of the close relationship between cannabinoids receptors and the neurons that cause neurodegenerative disorders of the brain. That said, here are some of the benefits of using CBD oil to alleviate Parkinson’s disease symptoms:
- CBD protects the nervous system.
- CBD relieves pain.
- Greater cardiovascular health.
- Reduced irritability, anxiety, and depression.
- CBD reduces cases of acne.
- CBO oil reduces tremors that result from involuntary muscle movement.