If your grandparent or other loved one is suffering from Parkinson’s disease, treatment options can be scarce. But click here to learn how CBD can help!
When someone you love is diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, we know it can feel incredibly overwhelming.
You want to stay strong for your friend and family member, but you’re not under any illusions about the severity of the disease.
Though over 10 million people are currently living with Parkinson’s, it takes on a whole new meaning when it impacts someone you know.
As a caretaker, child, or simply a loving friend, we know that you want to do what you can to help them feel better, stay mentally healthy, and manage their symptoms.
Luckily, CBD can help to make someone who has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s more comfortable. It does this by safely and naturally restoring their levels of Dopamine and Serotonin.
Read on to get a better understanding of how it all works.
To understand how CBD can be used to manage the symptoms of Parkinson’s, we first need to take a look at how the disease fundamentally changes the systems within the body.
When a loved one is diagnosed with Parkinson’s, the neurotransmitters in their brain are immediately under threat. Dopamine is one of the most important neurotransmitters, because it helps us to manage the way we move, and even the way we emotionally respond to stimuli.
Unfortunately, Parkinson’s interferes directly with the body’s regulation and production of Dopamine.
In fact, studies show that over the course of the disease, Parkinson’s will destroy anywhere from 60-80% of the Dopamine stored in your body.
It is this loss of dopamine that causes shakes, tremors, and even sudden outbursts of anger commonly seen in patients with Parkinson’s.
As you may have guessed, the symptoms of Parkinson’s only get worse as this devastating disease progresses.
It’s not only Dopamine levels in the body that are impacted by Parkinson’s.
The disease also destroys the body’s ability to create Serotonin, which is a much newer discovery — and one that seriously complicates the issue.
Serotonin is another kind of nerve chemical in the body, and it helps your cells communicate with one another. It’s especially prevalent in your body’s digestive system, and comes primarily as the result of your body’s production of healthy amino acids.
But when you have Parkinson’s, your body’s digestive system is immediately under threat. (This is why, in recent years especially, there has been an increased focus on the role of diet as it relates to Parkinson’s.)
If you have Parkinson’s, your gut will contain far more toxins — meaning that the cells responsible for creating Serotonin will start to break down.
This means that not only will you physically feel worse, but also your emotional balance will suffer.
Serotonin is also responsible for managing your body’s response to anxiety and depression. Think of it as a natural “mood-boosting” chemical. If your body doesn’t get enough of it, you can act impulsively, deal with racing, anxious thoughts, or simply begin to withdraw.
Now, let’s take a look at how CBD can actually help to boost both Dopamine and Serotonin levels in someone who has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s.
So, we’ve established that, when someone has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, their Serotonin and Dopamine levels will take a serious hit.
So, how can CBD help to restore those levels to normal?
Your body also contains a protein receptor known as “GPR6.”
The CBD contained in cannabis actually makes a direct connection with this protein receptor, encouraging it to increase your body’s production of Dopamine. This means that CBD can help to raise the levels of Dopamine in your body, by safely working with the natural chemicals that are already there.
In addition to helping patients to manage the symptoms of Parkinson’s, maintaining proper Dopamine levels may even help to slow the overall progression of the disease.
By restoring Dopamine, patients will experience fewer tremors, will get more sleep each night, and will even be able to use CBD as a pain management tool.
But that’s not all.
The cannabinoids in cannabis are jam-packed with anti-inflammatory compounds.
Why is this important?
Because your body’s natural endocannabinoids will not be strong enough to help you regulate pain if you’re dealing with a disease like Parkinson’s. This means that patients will be in near-constant physical pain, because their body isn’t creating the natural chemicals it usually does to control and limit the physical responses to stimuli.
The compounds in cannabis increase the power and the number of your natural endocannabinoids, while also helping to reduce current inflammation.
Best of all?
They do it without potentially dangerous side effects common in other pharmaceutical medication.
Now you know how CBD can help to restore your body’s natural levels of Dopamine.
So, how can it help with Serotonin production?
Interestingly, in the same way that the cannabinoids in cannabis help to stimulate Dopamine production, they do the same for Serotonin. Cannabis helps to increase the cannabinoid receptors in the body, and especially within your neurological system as a whole.
In addition to the CBD found in marijuana, it’s also the levels of THC it contains that gives your body’s Serotonin levels a boost. Plus, THC also helps to manage the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
It does this in many ways, but in patients with Parkinson’s, the boost the energy levels of the patients are particularly helpful.
For best results, we recommend eating a diet that’s rich in probiotics in addition to using medical marijuana to treat Parkinson’s. So far, there has been no link found between cannabis and the ability to eliminate dangerous bacteria in the gut.
It can only help to naturally increase your body’s Serotonin production, so you’ll need to handle your diet on your own.
Now that you have a better understanding of how CBD can help to stimulate the body’s natural production of both Serotonin and Dopamine?
Let’s take a look at some of the specific strains that have been helpful to others suffering from Parkinson’s and using cannabis as a tool.
This hybrid strain has a high THC content of between 18-26%, with a very low CBD content of 0.02%.
When it comes to treating Parkinson’s, this strain is especially effective in helping patients to manage the mental side effects of the disease. It helps to reduce depression and anxiety, while also offering a mild body high to assist with pain management.
This Sativa strain has a THC content of between 15-20%, which helps to make it a slow-acting but long-lasting strain.
Many people that use it have reported tasking notes of tangerines, which only helps to elevate the experience.
Don’t be alarmed if you or the patient get a little silly with this strain. Most people say they experience a serious burst of creative energy in addition to increased euphoria.
Especially if Parkinson’s has made it difficult to sleep, we highly recommend taking a few hits of Dutch Dragon about an hour or so before bedtime. However, because it can make you tired, it’s best not to use this at the start of a busy day.
Save it for a more laid-back afternoon for best results.
This is another Sativa strain that has a THC content of around 20%. It’s easily recognized among cannabis fans for its purple leaves.
Like Dutch Dragon, Lavender Haze is also used by patients with Parkinson’s who struggle to fall asleep at night.
However, it’s also an incredibly effective pain management tool, especially for those suffering from more severe aches and pains. It’s even been used to help treat migraines, and is jammed with anti-inflammatory agents.
You might also feel a rush of creative energy, which can be a wonderful mood-booster for those suffering from Parkinson’s.
We hope this post has made you feel that, when someone you love has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, you have lots of different options about how to approach treatment.
CBD and medical marijuana in general, especially when used in combination with other treatments, can be an incredibly effective way to keep someone with Parkinson’s happy and comfortable.
But you don’t have to take our word for it.
Spend some time on our community forum to learn more about how others have used cannabis to manage the symptoms of Parkinson’s.
Then, feel free to check out our blog to understand just how many different mental and physical illnesses can be treated with cannabis.