Parkinson’s Disease is a truly terrible disease and impacts greatly on the sufferer and their immediate family. Because there is no cure for the condition, there has been a lot of research focused on trying to identify ways to relieve symptoms that patients experience when suffering with the disease. One possible treatment method that has received a lot of attention is medicinal cannabis. But, how can cannabis help?
What is Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s Disease affects an individual’s nervous system and is progressive in nature. It is characterized by the death of nerve cells, which are located in the brain. It is often diagnosed when the patient experiences a small tremor, which then develops over time. This is often accompanied with stiffness, with movement becoming rather difficult.
The symptoms which are most common for Parkinson’s Disease sufferers include:
- Bradykinesia (slowness of movement)
- Rigidity (stiffness) and postural instability.
- Cognitive problems
- Fatigue and Pain
As you can see, there are a lot of symptoms which can reduce the quality of life that a sufferer will have.
As mentioned, there is no cure for Parkinson’s. There are treatments that are available that can help to relieve some of the symptoms that the sufferer may experience. For example, there are medications available which can help with walking and movement, aswell as controlling tremors.
How can Cannabis Help Parkinson’s?
Studies have found that cannabis could actually help slow Parkinson’s. It can do this as the cannabis is able to provide neuroprotective effects. Because cannabis contains certain cannabinoids, these chemicals are able to reduce excitotoxicity, aswell as oxidative injury. This oxidative injury normally results in the gradual degeneration of neurons, which release dopamine.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is also present in cannabis which can help by stopping damage to the body by free radicals.CBD is also able to help. Cannabidiol is able to do this by promoting and improving the health of mitochondria found in neural cells. Researchers now believe that CBD could be used as a therapeutic treatment for Parkinson’s, due to its neuroprotective properties.
Cannabis can also help manage symptoms, research has also shown. For example, one study looked at a number of subjects who smoked cannabis, and they found improvements with regards to the tremors they experienced, reduction in rigidity, and improved sleep quality.
A recent trial, conducted in 2016, found that medicinal marijuana substantially reduced pain and motor symptoms after a period of just half an hour after smoking the cannabis. The study also looked at the benefits cannabis could provide for Parkinson’s sufferers who suffer from psychosis. The psychosis was able to be managed by CBD, which further increased support for sufferers.
Parkinson’s Disease is a truly horrible disease, and we should be doing all that we can to encourage research with regards to cannabis as a possible treatment option, to improve the quality of life and life expectation for its sufferers. Use the dispensaries near me tool to find a cannabis dispensary near you if you would like access to cannabis for you or a close family member who suffers from Parkinson’s.