Does CBD Effect Any Parkinson’s Symptoms?

Findings on CBD treatments for Parkinson's disease

Image Credit: By Ankush Minda on Unsplash.

Approximately 1 million people the United States suffer from Parkinson’s, while a further 10 million suffer worldwide. Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a common condition which has a severe impact on the quality of life of a person. Parkinson’s can make it impossible to work, to socialize, to travel, even to look after your own children. This degenerative disease can be extremely distressing and has severe implications for both physical and mental health.

While in the early stages it may not hinder the patient too much, the disease’s progression is inevitable. Someone with Parkinson’s is likely to eventually require full time care at home, either from a professional carer or from family members. Living with Parkinson’s is not easy, so it’s vital to find the best possible treatment for those suffering from the disease.

This disorder of the nervous system seems to be primarily caused by an imbalance of the dopamine levels in our bodies. Dopamine is responsible for sending messages between our limbs and our brain. This is why Parkinson’s is so well known for a drop in the level of control a persona has over their own movements. The issue is that the cells which are responsible for producing dopamine in our bodies inexplicably die. The drop in dopamine levels isn’t sudden. It slowly decreases over time, which is why Parkinson’s symptoms increase in severity over time.

The Symptoms of Parkinson’s

There are many symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, most of which can be highly debilitating. Most people will recognize the movement symptoms quite easily as they can be very eye catching. It can be embarrassing for the person with Parkinson’s to have such noticeable difficulty moving their bodies in the most basic way, or even just trying to stay still. However, not all of the symptoms of this disease are so obvious to the eye. Below are listed just some of the most common.

  • Chronic pain
  • Uncontrollable and involuntary jerky movements
  • Diminished cognitive ability (memory loss, difficulty concentrating, even dementia)
  • Slowness of movement
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Loss of taste and smell
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue and lethargy
  • Trouble with walking
  • Rigidity
  • Weight loss
  • Sleeping problems
  • Stooped posture

While the above symptoms are very common for Parkinson’s patients, not all of them will apply to everyone. Parkinson’s is a little bit different for each person who suffers from it, so everyone experiences it in their own way.

Treatments for Parkinson’s

Unfortunately, there is no cure for Parkinson’s. Because scientists cannot figure out why the cells that produce dopamine have died in the first place, it’s impossible to stop them from doing that. As a result, treatment options for Parkinson’s as it currently stands are very much focused on minimising the severity of the symptoms and maintaining as high a quality of life as is possible for the patient.

There is no one, standard treatment plan. This is because each person experiences a different combination of symptoms, so treatment plans are catered towards the individual. Treatment is usually based on medication. Patients often have to take a cocktail of medicines every day, at different times and in different doses in order to tackle each symptoms individually. This alone can become a problem as filling our bodies with medications on a daily basis for decades on end cannot be good for us. There are often many negative side effects from the medications themselves. For this reason, many people are turning to the promise of natural remedies like CBD for side effect-free relief.

What is CBD?

CBD is the name given to cannabidiol, a natural compound found in the cannabis plant along with it’s psychoactive counter part THC. CBD and THC are two out of over hundred cannabinoids that are currently being studied for their medical potential. CBD is natural derived from the seeds of this plant.

It has been used for centuries by indigenous peoples across the world to treat pain, burns, infections and a whole host of other illnesses and medical conditions. CBD has had quite a negative reputation until recently, because of its association with the marijuana plant. However what people don’t realize is, CBD cannot get you ‘high’.

The reason why people experience psychoactive effects when smoking pot is down to THC. THC is a cannabinoid found in cannabis. It is just one of over 100 cannabinoids. CBD is another. Without the THC, the high that people are so keen to avoid is simply not possible. Yet government agenda pushing has convinced people that all things to do with cannabis are highly dangerous, and so CBD has remained a relative mystery until now.

Unfortunately there is very little hard scientific evidence to support the centuries of anecdotal evidence that suggests that CBD could be an excellent treatment option for a wide range of illnesses and conditions. It’s thought to have cancer killing abilities, be an excellent skin care agent, fight dementia and even resolve mental illnesses. But there’s little or no doubt that the area which boasts the most promise for CBD is that of chronic pain.

Until the laws around cannabis are relaxed though, it is exceptionally difficult for researchers to conduct any serious, large scale and high standard investigations into these claims. So until then, people suffering with conditions must take a risk if they decide to try it out.

CBD and Parkinson’s

There is no denying the fact that chronic pain is one of the defining symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. The pain is both physically and mentally exhausting and can have a hugely negative effect on the patients mental health. The sleep disorders caused by Parkinson’s make it so much harder to cope, and the postural instability and movement disorders make normal day to day life for people with Parkinson’s disease very difficult indeed. Add to this the embarrassment caused by the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s and it’s easy to see why people are so desperate to find a solution.

CBD could be that solution. It’s ability to tackle chronic pain would have an immeasurable impact on quality of life. It’s reputation as a mood stabilizer could also go a long way towards preventing the development of depression which is so common for those in all stages of the condition. Literally thousands of people have claimed to that CBD helps them to sleep at night after years of insomnia and other sleep problems, so this too would be a wonderful benefit to PD sufferers. It is believed to be extremely safe, especially in comparison to the harsh medications that cause so many negative side effects.

However, if you suffer from Parkinson’s or any other illness or condition and are considering using CBD as a treatment, it’s important to remember that very little is scientifically understood about it and until more is known, there will always be a certain level of risk involved in taking it. Make sure to do plenty of research online and talk to your family doctor or specialist before you make any changes to your treatment plan.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
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