The Amazing CBD Effects on Neurodegenerative Disorders
Neurodegenerative disorders are on the rise in most industrialized nations. In the United States alone nearly 5.4 million people suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, while roughly 500,000 suffer from Parkinson’s. As the American population ages, these numbers are only going to increase. A large percentage of people have direct experience with neurodegenerative disorders either through their own diagnosis or through the diagnosis of loved ones. Brain disorders such as Parkinson’s, Huntington’s or Alzheimer’s, have some of the highest disease burdens. Disease burden, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), characterizes the number of healthy years which are affected by disability and death. Neurodegenerative disorders are considerably more burdensome because they not only affect the individual, but also have a huge financial, emotional and practical effect on families. The disease burden for neurodegenerative disorders has been calculated to be more significant than even that of cancers.
Because the rates of these diseases are likely to continue to increase, the race is on to find effective treatment options. The options available today are limited in scope, and are typically costly. They also have significant side effects. Many side-effects for the most common drugs associated with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s cause vomiting, nausea, digestive issues, and decreased appetite, just to name a few.
As scientific research expands into the realm of medical marijuana, and its various beneficial components, there is beginning to be significant excitement surrounding the treatment possibilities for neurodegenerative disorders with cannabidiol oil (CBD oil). At the moment, results are preliminary but studies into CBD oil treatment for neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington’s, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer's is overwhelmingly positive. Not only does CBD treatment target some of the most debilitating symptoms of these diseases but CBD oil also seems to suggest little to no side effect risk. For many people managing their symptoms, or for family members assisting their loved ones, CBD is offering a ray of hope for a variety of increasingly severe neurological diseases.
How does CBD Treat Neurodegenerative Disorders?
Cannabidiol and THC have been found to have anti-inflammatory characteristics specifically in cases of chronic brain inflammation. They have also been found to target oxidative-stress and cellular dysfunction. They also have an extremely powerful effect on the overall health of the endocannabinoid system and neurotrophic (or brain cell) support. According to at least one recent study, there seems to be preliminary evidence suggesting that CBD specifically slows down brain aging, a primary suspect in many neurodegenerative diseases.
As with most current research into CBD benefits, more is desperately needed. As CBD becomes more widely accepted and the legal barriers are removed, scientific study is becoming more viable. Research into CBD treatment for neurodegenerative disorders is in its relatively early stages, but the vast majority of it is pointing to positive results. As more large scale clinical trials are completed, the results should continue to demonstrate effective and powerful treatment of neurodegenerative diseases with CBD oil.
Because the current pharmaceuticals have proven to be inadequate for treatment of moderate to severe cases of Alzheimer's, cannabis extracts are being pursued for their ability to reduce and relieve some of the most difficult symptoms such as agitation and aggression. Other symptoms which were also alleviated were those of delusions and apathy according to The Journal of Alzheimer's disease. In a small clinical trial of cannabis oil, all patients showed demonstrative results in treatment of their behavioural and psychoactive dementia. There is a strong suggestion in the available research that the non-psychoactive cannabinoids in cannabis, such as CBD, offer neurological protection through anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory capabilities. This protective potential is only one more avenue being pursued in more extensive trials.
Due to the degenerative nature of Parkinson’s disease, and the often quick decline in quality of life, there is quite a bit of interest in the ability of CBD to slow down the decline and degeneration. In small preliminary trials, patients who inhaled cannabis (containing both THC and CBD), reported drastically reduced tremors, rigidness and slowness of movement. They also reported sleeping better and a reduction in overall pain. Other studies have shown that Parkinson’s patients who suffer from sleep behaviour disorder, which causes both nightmares and disrupted sleep, can effectively treat it with CBD oil. Once the CBD treatments stopped, symptoms returned.
Huntington’s Disease causes a slow neurological decline, with symptoms such as tremors, reduction in mobility, and cognitive function. Unlike both Parkinson’s and Alzheimer's diseases, the available research on CBD as an effective treatment option is in even earlier stages. With that in mind, the initial evidence is very compelling. Cannabidiol, as mentioned earlier, is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent, and directly affects the function of the endocannabinoid system. The smooth functioning of this system begins to rapidly deteriorate after the onset of Huntington’s disease and it is thought that CBD could offer an effective neurological protection.
In preliminary trials, mice with Huntington's like symptoms were treated with CBD and their symptoms seemed to be reduced. There has also been research demonstrating that even in high doses of CBD, there seemed to be limited risk for side effects.
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