Medical cannabis is fast becoming one of the most exciting areas of medical research today. This plant, which has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years according to historians, is now being explored as a potential treatment for a huge variety of medical conditions and incurable diseases, including Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative condition which affects the central nervous system. This disease is characterized by a slow but steady loss of motor control and the development of uncontrollable tremors.
As there is currently no known cure for the disease, patients have no choice but to try to manage their symptoms as best they can. In addition to the violent tremors which are associated with Parkinson’s disease, symptoms include:
In recent years, the number of Parkinson’s patients who are choosing to treat their condition at home wit cannabis has grown rapidly. This is in equal parts due to the limited efficacy and side effects of current pharmaceutical treatments.
Cannabis can effectively treat depression and pain as well as promote sleep. However, it is its effect on the tremor that seems to be the real attraction for Parkinson’s patients.
One study investigated the effect of medical cannabis on 2,736 patients over a 6 month period. It found that a whopping 94% of participants reported a marked improvement in their condition after 6 months.
Another study examined the effects of cannabidiol, better known as CBD oil, on motor ability and rigidity. It found that 100% of the participants experienced an improvement in their ability to control movement and a significant decrease in tremors. Researchers also noted that CBD oil was very well tolerated by all patients.
These studies indicate that there certainly is some truth to the claims that Parkinson’s patients have been making about the benefits of medical cannabis to their condition. They also pave the way for more, longer-term studies in the future.
It is hoped that a cannabis-based treatment for Parkinson’s disease will be developed and rolled out in the years to come. In the meantime, the use of medical cannabis remains an experimental treatment and it is advised that all Parkinson’s patients consult with their medical teams before using it for their condition.