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CBD for Parkinson's: A Natural Treatment?

CBD for Parkinson's: A Natural Treatment?

Parkinson’s disease is a rare but terminal illness, affecting roughly one percent of people over the age of 60. Instances of Parkinson’s increases after the age of 60. The disease is most well known for the development of increasingly extreme tremors and the slowly reduced mobility. A Parkinson's diagnosis also often is associated with an onset of anxiety and depression, as patients begin experiencing the disease’s many side effects.

CBD for Parkinsons: An elderly patient

Unfortunately, Parkinson’s disease has no cure and traditional treatments are considered vastly inadequate. Chronic pain, difficulty sleeping, and declining cognitive function are unsuccessfully treated with any of the usual pharmaceuticals.

Thankfully, there is new hope for people diagnosed with this awful disease. Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis and hemp plants, is demonstrating powerful and strikingly visible results in reducing the signs and symptoms of Parkinson's. On top of the outward reduction of tremors and improved mobility, CBD also is demonstrating potential to protect the brain from neurological degeneration.

CBD Parkinson’s Therapy: One of the Many Video Testimonials

Because of the immediate visible effect CBD has on alleviating some of the most prominent features of Parkinson’s disease, many heart-warming testimonials are available on YouTube. One especially compelling testimonial was that of Chris, whose first use of CBD was recorded. After only ten minutes, Chris’s pain was nearly cut in half, and his tremors essentially stopped. Upon follow-up, Chris describes finally getting an undisturbed night’s sleep after 19 years of Parkinson’s, by using CBD oil therapy. See the dramatic results for yourself here.

It comes as a surprise to many, but whole-plant, non-GMO, hemp-sourced CBD oil is legal for purchase in all 50 states and many countries around the world. Learn more about where to source high-quality hemp-based CBD oil here.

Understanding Parkinson's Disease

The early stages of Parkinson’s can be hard to diagnose. The symptoms seemingly are disconnected and, in the beginning, easily can be brushed off as non-serious changes. For example, some of the most common early signs of the disease include:

  • Softening of voice
  • Slight tremors
  • Development of a hunchback
  • Instances of dizziness
  • Increased difficulty walking and moving
  • Increased overall pain
  • Decreased size of handwriting

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease, meaning its symptoms become worse until quality of life is reduced significantly. In the final stage, people often are in constant pain and their mobility is so restricted they cannot move from their bed. Treatment plans continually are improving, thanks in part to CBD, but many people still take the diagnosis as a terminal one.

Benefits of CBD oil for Parkinson’s Disease

The current understanding of CBD's function in the endocannabinoid system has led to the discovery of a couple of potential benefits of using it to treat Parkinson's. The current research shows some preliminary results in the following areas:

Neuroprotectant

For many neurodegenerative diseases, CBD holds vast potential as a neuroprotectant. Not only is CBD an anti-inflammatory, but it is also a powerful antioxidant. By protecting the brain from oxidative stress, CBD is thought to provide significant neurological protection. Oxidative stress is believed to be one of the causes of Parkinson’s disease.

Anti-Inflammatory

Reducing neurological inflammation is one tool in fighting cognitive deterioration and the slow progression of Parkinson’s. One of the leading causes of Parkinson’s disease is a substantial decrease in the neurotransmitter dopamine. Many experts hypothesize that sustained brain inflammation is one of the principal reasons for the loss of dopamine. By using CBD to treat inflammation, some researchers believe they also could slow the disease’s progression.

Improved Sleep

CBD for Parkinsons: Improved sleepAccording to a 2009 study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, a  75-300 mg dose of CBD was effective in treating sleep disorders, a common side effect of Parkinson's disease. Upwards of 98 percent of Parkinson’s patients experience REM sleep behavior disorder. This disorder is essentially the continued and prolonged disruption of a healthy sleep cycle. Sleep cycle improvement could offer patients a great benefit for their everyday quality of life. 

Decreased Psychosis

During the disease’s progression, psychotic symptoms begin developing. Most people experience increasingly severe visual hallucinations, although auditory hallucinations also are quite common. A 1998 study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology discovered a relatively small starting dose of 150 mg of CBD was enough to reduce the prevalence of hallucinations. Although their sample size was relatively small, they concluded there was significant improvement to the study participants’ quality of life.

A New Approach to Treating Parkinson’s

CBD for Parkinsons: A new approach

Like much of the research into CBD as a new alternative medicine, the study of CBD for treating Parkinson’s disease is still in its preliminary stages. It’s easy to find firsthand reports of people using CBD to reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s, but it’s much more difficult to find a rigorous clinical trial of human test subjects.

If you’ve been diagnosed with Parkinson’s and are exploring the possibility of CBD therapy, it's important to speak with a medical professional and do your research in advance. Thankfully, CBD has been found safe to use even in the high doses required for Parkinson’s treatment and has a low risk of side effects.

Sources/Examples:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16152765

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21545415

http://www.parkinson.org/understanding-parkinsons/causes-and-statistics

https://www.projectcbd.org/ciencia/cannabis-pharmacology/cbd-and-parkinsons-disease

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130429175904.htm

https://www.endoca.com/blog/medical/cbd-and-parkinsons/

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