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Cbd oil for parkinson’s uk

Can CBD oil be used to treat Parkinson’s disease?

We speak to leading expert in cannabis medicine Dr Dani Gordon about the benefits and potential risks factors associated with using cannabidiol for Parkinson’s treatment.

Cannabidiol – more commonly known as CBD oil – has taken the world by storm thanks to a number of proven health benefits. As well as being used to treat pain, anxiety, sleep problems and MS, anecdotal evidence points towards CBD being effective at easing symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

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But can CBD oil really be used as a medical treatment, and does it carry any risk? We speak to leading expert in cannabis medicine Dr Dani Gordon about the efficacy of using CBD-oil to treat degenerative disorders:

What is CBD oil?

CBD is a cannabinoid – a naturally occurring chemical compound – which can be extracted from the cannabis plant. It is then mixed with a carrier oil (such as hemp), to create CBD oil.

CBD is not psychoactive, like the better known TCH, which means that it won’t make you ‘high’. CBD is legal across the UK, as long as it has been derived from an industrial hemp strain that’s EU-approved.

What is Parkinson’s disease?

Parkinson’s is a condition whereby parts of the brain become increasingly damaged over time. This is due to a loss of nerve cells, but scientists are unsure what causes this to happen in the first place.

Parkinson’s disease is a condition whereby parts of the brain become increasingly damaged over time.

According to the NHS, those who suffer from Parkinson’s will experience the involuntary shaking of different body parts, stiff muscles and slow movement. They may also struggle with depression, insomnia and anxiety.

Does CBD oil work for Parkinson’s treatment?

The main treatment for Parkinson’s usually include occupational therapy, physiotherapy, and medication (most commonly Levodopa). However, some research suggests CBD oil might be a viable option to consider.

‘Medical cannabinoid products, of which CBD is one, may help some patients with Parkinson’s related symptoms,’ says Dr Gordon. While there’s not a huge amount of science proving this, there are some preliminary studies which back this claim up.

CBD is one, may help some patients with Parkinson’s related symptoms.

‘In a study of Parkinsonian patients at the Prague Movement Disorders Centre who reported oral cannabis intake, 30.6 per cent of them self-reported having a reduced resting tremor as a result of oral cannabis intake,’ says Dr Gordon. Moreover ‘44.7 per cent reported that oral cannabis alleviated the symptom of bradykinesia – the slowness of movement.’

‘It is unclear what doses of CBD, TCH and medical cannabinoids gives the most benefit but many patients report subjective benefit in terms of sleep, anxiety and quality of life as a result of using CBD and cannabinoid products,’ she adds.

Is there any risk?

At the moment, the scientific research is too limited to confidently state that CBD oil is a safe, effective treatment for Parkinson’s. Moreover, while it might help alleviate some of the symptoms of the disease, it’s important to note that taking CBD oil is not going to eliminate symptoms altogether.

CBD oil, according to Dr Gordon, ‘is not a cure for the disease and we have no evidence that it alters disease progression.’

So while CBD oil may help ease symptoms, it is not a miracle cure-all.

How should you take CBD oil?

If you are interested in using CBD oil to treat Parkinson’s, it is available to buy in the form of tinctures, tablets, and even gummy sweets from many major retailers such as Holland & Barrett.

⚠️ If you suffer from Parkinson’s, make sure you consult your GP before taking CBD oil.

Each product will come with its own instructions. Tinctures, for example, tend to advise you place a few drops of CBD oil on your tongue around three times a day. Always err on the side of caution until you know exactly what works for you – start with small dosages and work up. Your GP will be able to advise you on this too.

Using CBD to Treat Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms

The benefits and research around CBD are still emerging

Colleen Travers writes about health, fitness, travel, parenting, and women’s lifestyle for various publications and brands.

Verywell Health articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and healthcare professionals. These medical reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more.

Diana Apetauerova, MD, is board-certified in neurology with a subspecialty in movement disorders. She is an associate clinical professor of neurology at Tufts University.

With the legalization of medical marijuana, many states are approving the use of it in a non-traditional way to treat the symptoms of certain conditions, including Parkinson’s disease. Marijuana has two major components to it—tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Both may help with nausea and muscle pain or spasms, but unlike THC, CBD doesn’t give you the “high” feeling marijuana is most commonly known for. This makes it an enticing, natural way for many to help treat their Parkinson’s disease symptoms. What’s more, is that because CBD is a natural compound from the Cannabis sativa plant, using it may also leave you side effect-free, unlike many prescription medications.

Research

The body of research on using CBD for Parkinson’s disease symptoms is rapidly growing, as Parkinson’s disease affects 1% of the population over 60 years old.   Parkinson’s disease is a neurological condition, affecting the nervous system. Parts of the brain that produce dopamine, which is responsible for sending messages to the body in order to direct movement, become damaged or die. This results in tremors, muscle stiffness, the inability to use facial expressions, and trouble balancing.

In connection with Parkinson’s disease as well as other movement-related disorders, CBD may help improve motor skills. In one study published in Frontiers in Pharmacology CBD was shown to have a more preventative role in delaying abnormal movement symptoms in animal models of Parkinson’s.  

Since Parkinson’s disease can take some time to properly diagnose when the symptoms are already prevalent, using CBD once diagnosed may not offer much benefit. With early detection combined with the use of CBD together the possibility of reducing movement-related symptoms increases.

Those dealing with Parkinson’s disease may also have trouble sleeping due to REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD), a condition in which patients ‘act out’ their dreams while asleep. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics found that four patients with Parkinson’s disease who also suffered from RBD had a decrease of RBD symptoms during sleep with the use of CBD.

In some cases, people suffering from Parkinson’s disease may also have symptoms of psychosis, ranging in hallucinations to vivid dreams and illusions. Research has found that CBD may be able to help. In research out of University of São Paulo in Brazil, patients were given a dose of CBD starting out at 150 milligrams (mg) per day in addition to their current treatment plan of therapy for four weeks. The use of CBD showed no adverse effects, no impact on worsening motor function, and a decrease in their reported psychosis symptoms, meaning that not only can it help with the physical setbacks of Parkinson’s disease, it can also play a part in the cognitive challenges as well. This was however an older study and current clinical trial evidence to support the use of CBD is minimal.

More research out of Brazil suggests CBD can improve the overall quality of life of those with Parkinson’s disease. In a sample of 21 patients, those who were treated with 75 mg to 300 mg of CBD per day reported a significant increase in quality of life, though no significant differences were noted in motor and general symptoms or neuroprotective effects. This goes to show how much results can vary when it comes to the effects of CBD, requiring larger studies to be done in order to get more definitive answers to this treatment option.

Uses and Safety

Parkinson’s disease can impact cognitive function and memory, particularly in those whose symptoms progress to Parkinson’s disease dementia. Because of this, medical marijuana with both THC and CBD may not be recommended, as it can impair thinking and brain function even more so. CBD by itself may be a safer route.

CBD has been discovered as an effective way to help treat Parkinson’s disease symptoms because it interacts with two cannabinoid receptors in the body found on certain cells called CB1 and CB2. By interacting with one or both of these receptors, CBD may delay tremor development as well as have protective neurological benefits. But as seen with the above studies, there is no uniform approach or conclusion on this treatment method. This means that patients may react differently to using CBD, some having tremendous success while others seeing little difference. But regardless of whether or not CBD is an effective treatment option for you, you always need to consult your treating physician to make sure this treatment will not cause side effects.

What can cause side effects is if a patient decides to mix medical marijuana with their treatment plan that consists of certain prescription medications. If you plan to use medical marijuana as opposed to CBD by itself, it’s smart to consult a healthcare provider or your pharmacist before you start mixing it in with other medications to make sure it’s safe for you.

Should You Use It?

While the research on CBD to treat Parkinson’s disease symptoms is largely inconclusive, its mild effect on patients as a whole makes it enticing to try in addition to an existing traditional treatment plan. Parkinson’s disease has no cure. But with prescription medication, therapy, and now perhaps the use of nontraditional options like CBD, patients may be able to experience less frequency and severity of symptoms that affect their motor skills.

If you’re interested in trying CBD for Parkinson’s disease, talk to your healthcare provider about it. They will be able to point you to the latest research and provide recommendations on how much you should take. They will also be able to monitor your progress with the rest of your care team in order to come to a conclusion if this is the right treatment plan for you.