Can Symptoms of Parkinson’s Be Treated with Cannabis

Can cannabis treat the symptoms of Parkinson's Disease

Image Credit: By iLoveCoffeeDesign on Shutterstock

Remember Muhammad Ali? The famous boxer was known all across the world. By the end of his career, a lot of people could notice that he was falling victim to different problems like trembling and speech impediments. For those of you who don’t know, these are the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. It is estimated that almost 60 thousand Americans and around 10 million people worldwide are affected by Parkinson’s disease. Even though it is most common for adults after they hit 50, it is also found to be affecting people before the age of 50. The biggest problem of the disease may not be the disease itself but the lack of cure and the knowledge of what cause it.

According to many researchers and medical experts, cannabis being legal in American states will result in the disease getting some work done in order to cure it somehow. Let’s discuss the disease that so many people like the famous boxer, Robbin Williams, and Billy Connolly among others were affected by.

What is actually Parkinson’s disease?

Parkinson’s disease (PD)is a long-term degenerative disorder of the central nervous system system that mainly affects the motor system. As you may have experienced underwater, the movement of the body are gradual and very slow, that is very much like what Parkinson’s disease is like. The only thing we know that causes it is the halt of production of a particular kind of dopamine. The key to curing it can then be said to somehow increase the production rate of the dopamine to a more stabilized level.

Central Nervous System
Since it is a disease of the brain, the central nervous system in our bodies is majorly responsible for treating it. Our spinal cord along with our brain is what makes up the central nervous system. It gets the name “Central” because it acts like a central headquarters where all the information from the rest of the body is accumulated to decide what should be done next. Researchers, medical experts, and scientists have been researching on the central nervous system, and it is interesting since every little secret piece of information being transmitted by the body goes through it along with the body’s protocols to deal with it. Not only does it control our moods and emotions, but it is also responsible for our bodily movements.

Due to the nature of the brain working as a central system that controls the rest of the machine that is our body, researchers are prone to taking the system as a submarine ship that’s working with algorithms and calculations to get to the desired destination. Even when it deviates for a moment, it quickly comes back to its trajected course.

Substantia Nigra
The black substance in the depths of the brain discovered was called Substantia Nigra. The dopamine of the nervous system, the neurotransmitter dopamine is residing in this dark area. Parkinson’s disease is an illness that targets the production of the dopamine, at first slowing it down and gradually stopping the production altogether. You can consider your ability to talk and walk if you wish to understand the importance of the dopamine.

Dopamine
This is one of the most significant things in our body that, when affected, lead to various physical and mental diseases. Dopamine (DA) is a chemical in your brain that doesn’t affect your emotions. Our body movements and even the sense of happiness felt by the body along with the transmitting of the signals for pain is all done by the dopamine. There are five dopamine receptors. Parkinson’s disease is the most abundant disease that is responsible for eliminating dopamine. Even in clinical depression, our dopamine is affected. Depression is a common mental disease affecting the patients with Parkinson’s disease. Common drugs like L-Dopa or carbidopa/levodopa are used to treat the patients with Parkinson’s disease to stabilize the production of the dopamine.

Medications for Parkinson’s

  • Dopamine Promoter
  • Antidepressants
  • Cognition-Enhancing Medication
  • Anti-Tremor Medication
  • Caffeine

Caffeine, and Nicotine are famous for their use of making us conscious and alert to our surroundings. Believe it or not, despite the rumors around them, these two can majorly reduce the risk of developing Parkinson’s. Like all drugs for hyperactivity induction, it tweaks the neurotransmitters in the brain. But it must be noted that when caffeine is used in energy drinks, it is not that helpful as much as harmful to the body. A set amount of coffee and tea are better ways to go about consuming caffeine.

Drinks That Contain Caffeine

  • Coffee
  • Green Tea
  • Black Tea
  • Soda
  • Energy Drinks

When the dopamine is starting to get eliminated, it will start displaying symptoms in the body which can be useful to know.

Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease

  • Tremor (resting or action)
  • Slow Movement
  • Loss of Balance
  • Rigidity
  • Stooped Posture
  • Expressionless Face
  • Depression
  • Anxiety or Apathy
  • Insomnia and Trouble Sleeping
  • Daytime Sleepiness
  • Fatigue
  • Falling
  • Blank stare
  • The Trouble with a Sense of Smell
  • Weight Loss

Exercise and regulating the motions of the body and the brain through mental exercise are good ways to go about fighting the symptoms.
*Men are 150% more prone to developing the disease than women.

Early Signs of Parkinson’s Disease

This is a disease that slowly kills the body from the body, therefore degenerative, this means that to even hope for a cure, it must be diagnosed and treated early. Those with the knowledge of their disease tend to be very careful and attentive towards fighting the symptoms of the disease.

Naturally, like any other disease, it should be the first step to getting to know the disease. Due to its evolving nature, getting checked by the doctor regularly can be crucial since you don’t want to miss the time when it starts reacting somewhere else. Since early stages are hard to identify, the disease in its substantial state is identified by:

  • Bladder problems. Irregular urinating patterns along with facing difficulties during urinating like pain can be a sign of Parkinson’s.
  • Constipation. Since the body is moving slow, the digestive system is affected therefore having constipation can be considered a sign.

What to do if you have Parkinson’s disease:

  • Consult a doctor and figure out a plan to fight it.
  • Find a specialist that can better help specify the areas of treatment.
  • Speech therapists, occupational therapists, can help in problems faced by patients.
  • Medical Social workers can be of a lot of help during the whole time.
  • Exercising daily to halt further growth of the disease.
  • It is common knowledge that with almost every illness, depression is to come if the person is left alone, that means when you can, talk with family and friends to help with depression.

The Endocannabinoid System

Our body’s endocannabinoid system is responsible for the attitudes and moods of the system since they’re the transmitters of the signals that trigger the brain to focus on the pain. What happens is, our body tends to make endocannabinoids which is to get in contact with our ECS. Since cannabis, when ingested, reacts with the ECS organically, it further increases the effect, sort of like a tweak. THC, or Tetrahydrocannabinol, is what’s responsible for producing a psychedelic effect or a “buzz” by interacting with the ECS receptors of the brain, therefore cheering up the mood by inducing reward enzymes in the body.

Fatty acids, even though by their name they seem harmful are responsible for making endocannabinoids. Omega-3 fatty acids get special attention in regards to this. According to recent findings in the field, animal models have been found getting their moods directly affected by the diets that have variable amounts of the Omega-3 fatty acids. And did you know that hemp seeds are a fantastic source of Omega-3 fatty acids? Salmon and sardines can be turned to since they produce a form of omega-3s that’s not only good for the body but also easier to use. Polyunsaturated acids can be added in our diet through supplements for the fatty acids that are available.

A lot of the bodily functions are either handled or supervised or affected by the cannabinoid receptors that exist in the body. Let’s call the receptors CB1 and CB2 since there are two of them. These aren’t the only cannabinoid receptors and remain the ones that are the most studied and focused upon. CB1 receptors are the type of receptors most found in the brain. Reacting with THC can get the patient to feel the “high” that’s known. Helping the immune system do its job better, CB2 receptors are found outside the environment of the brain.

  • Sleep
  • Appetite, digestion, hunger
  • Mood
  • Motor control
  • Immune function
  • Reproduction and fertility
  • Pleasure and reward
  • Pain
  • Memory
  • Temperature regulation

Read more here: Marijuana On The Brain: Receptors In The Brain Designed for Cannabinoids.

Although it is mostly found in Asia, its growth can be found around almost every part of the world with its benefits and uses being utilized by the population as not only a recreational drug but also a medically helpful one.

Cannabis Sativa: Helps in making the brain stimulate better emotional patterns and retaining focus.

Cannabis Indica: It helos in promoting healthy sleep, a growing appetite and a deeper sleep.

Cannabis Hybrid: This compound contains both cannabis Sativa and Indica. Hybrids are useful for users who wish to gain access to the pros of both Sativa and Indica through a good balance between both.

Many users prescribe to this strand of cannabis to better suit their own needs.

THC – THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the element in cannabis responsible for the “high” because of the psychedelic effects it induces. Disregarding common understandings of cannabis, THC is not fatal or harmful in the ways that are known to general populations.

CBD – Since it’s now being stated legal in many states of America, researches are being conducted, and medical use for CBD is being explored more and more each day. CBD is found in cannabis. Being one of at least 85 cannabinoids, and next to THC in the volume consumption of the plant, has gained much support recently. Due to the addictive and harmful nature of the other drugs being prescribed these days commonly, CBD is now gaining a lot of attention in treatments for pain and inflammation. Various strains that are appearing on the market are some signs that it is getting more popularity and use than before.

Contrary to THC, the appetite factor of CBD is not as much as increasing it as much as normalizing it. Even the paranoia, anxiety and nervousness people tend to feel during marijuana trials were not to be found in just CBD tests, even though the medical treatment was the same. Beta-Amyloid toxicity can be avoided if we can regulate the use of cannabis for our body. That can mean relief from the symptoms and diseases of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

Benefits of CBD

  • Mental and Neurological Disorders get better
  • Decreases the pain felt by patients
  • Greatly damages the chances of getting inflammation
  • Lower chances of Anxiety attacks
  • A very probable cure for Cancer
  • Treatment against MS (multiple sclerosis)
  • Minimizing chances of epileptic attacks/seizures
  • Helps fight Depression
  • Treatment against dyskinesia (involuntary muscle movements)

The Controversy of CBD Being Addictive

Due to the lack of knowledge of the general population, it is often considered that marijuana is as addictive as other drugs and therefore, is addictive and fatal. In short, yes – but not remotely close to its associated drugs. Although 1 in 9 users become addicted, it is still impossible for it to be lethal. For cannabis to do that, approximately 900 joints would have to be smoked at the same time to kill someone. That’s probably why there have been no deaths ever recorded during the use of cannabis. It should be considered a source of getting to know our bodily functions and problems better, rather than a possible lethal drug.

Since the 21st-century experiment on drugs has revealed that addiction is a behavioral problem rather than a psychological one, therefore marijuana can’t be blamed if the person has no reason to let go. Regarding other drugs such as alcohol (2.5 million deaths annually), antidepressants (40,000 deaths annually), and opioids(nearly 100 deaths daily), it would be far from sane to consider marijuana to be a harmful substance.Not only is it safer than most of the drugs out there, but it also has much less side effects.

Cannabis and Parkinson’s Disease

Since many diseases out there are incurable, some of the symptoms and effects can be fought off and that’s precisely what people want to do when facing Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s. The diseases can have CBD reduce the effects the patients suffer from minor side effects of its own that are nothing if compared to the side-effects suffered from Parkinson’s disease and its commonly prescribed medicine. Parkinson’s can be helped by Cannabis through some of the effects that provide:

  • Reduction in Pain
  • Subdued Tremors
  • Better Quality of Sleep
  • Improved Mood Overall
  • Improved Ease During Movement

In one study study published in 2014, 22 participants with PD saw improvement in sleep, tremors, and pain within 30 minutes of smoking marijuana. In another study published in 2010, researchers found that cannabinoids have anti-inflammatory properties. Although estimates vary, about 50,000 people are diagnosed with PD in the U.S. each year, and about half a million people have the disease. Since the rate of Parkinson’s disease developing in the system is noted to be increased in older adults, prevention and treatment need to be improved to contain the disease from becoming a plague. One of the worst things about diseases like this is that they can’t be examined and diagnosed until they are developed, and sometimes even by then it’s too late to start. If you think you or someone you know might have similar symptoms and should get checked, see if you can get cannabis to be a medical treatment plan for you. But then again, medical advice is better taken from professionals in the field.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
At cannabisMD we aim to provide you with all the information and knowledge you need to take the next step in your personal cannabis journey! Read about our team

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *