Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a degenerative disorder that affects the nervous system. Brain cells that produce dopamine — which relay messages between the brain and the body — break down or die, and nerve endings that produce norepinephrine, another chemical messenger, are damaged. Parkinson’s progresses in stages, with early symptoms being barely detectable and later-stage symptoms being debilitating. Signs of the disease include tremors, slow movement, rigidity, changes in speech and writing, and impaired balance and posture.
We understand how Parkinson’s works, but we don’t know its causes. Researchers believe genes play a role, as well as environmental factors and possibly brain chemistry. Age is a risk factor — most people develop Parkinson’s around 60 or older — and men are more likely to suffer from it than women. The disease can’t be cured, but medications can counteract its effects on walking and other movements, mostly by increasing or replacing dopamine. Other treatments include physical, occupational, and speech therapies; in some cases, doctors may recommend a surgical procedure called deep brain stimulation.
Along with the already available interventions, properties from cannabis are now being considered as potential treatments for Parkinson’s disease. In one study at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, scientists found CBD boosted dopamine levels. Other studies have shown improvement in tremors and chronic pain. At cannabisMD, you’ll find the latest research on CBD and cannabis as a possible treatment for Parkinson’s disease so you make informed choices about your health care.