CBD and Parkinson's: is cannabidiol really effective?

Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that progressively destroys certain neurons in the brain. If it is relatively well known to doctors and if treatments exist, none of them can treat it to date. Worse, some cause heavy side effects, adding to the symptom of the disease.

Among these symptoms, some seem to be able to be relieved by taking cannabidiol (CBD). This is what drives the scientific community to take an interest in potential of CBD in the context of Parkinson's. This article reviews the opportunities offered by CBD as well as the results of the first studies on the subject.

Why consider CBD for Parkinson's?

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Parkinson's is a neurodegenerative disease resulting in particular in tremors

With 200 patients in France and 25 new cases diagnosed each year, Parkinson's disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease, behind Alzheimer's disease. Better and better taken care of, these patients have to date no hope of a definitive cure and must learn to live on a daily basis with heavy symptoms that evolve as the disease progresses.

Main symptoms of Parkinson's disease

Parkinson's disease matters three main symptoms. The presence of at least two of them is necessary to make a diagnosis:

  • Tremors at rest,
  • Muscle stiffness,
  • Slowness of movement (akinesia),

In addition, other symptoms may be associated with them:

  • Depressed state,
  • Digestive disorders,
  • Tired,
  • Sleeping troubles,
  • memory problems,
  • attention disorders,
  • advanced tiredness,
  • Partial loss of smell,
  • Weightloss.

Parkinson's treatments and limits

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Treatments for Parkinson's work on the area of ​​the brain that controls movement

The gradual disappearance of certain neurons characteristic of Parkinson's results in a decreased production of dopamine by the brain. However, this neurotransmitter is directly involved in the good communication of neurons between them in a region of the brain for its part involved in the control of movements (which explains the motor problems observed).

Current drugs for Parkinson's disease therefore aim to restore dopamine levels closer to normal. Depending on the treatments, it may be a dopamine precursor (which is then transformed into dopamine by the organism), of a close substance which acts like dopamine (we speak of an agonist) or of a third substance which slows the breakdown of dopamine naturally produced.

Essential to slowing down the disease, these treatments are nevertheless accompanied bysometimes heavy side effects, which add to the symptoms already caused by the disease. Among them is a risk of involuntary abnormal movements, nausea, behavior disorders and a tendency to addiction (gambling, hypersexuality, compulsive shopping, etc.).

Opportunities of CBD in Parkinson's

Those who already know the effects of CBD will have recognized in the symptoms as in the side effects of the treatments against Parkinson several disorders which can be relieved by the action of the molecule of CBD on the human organism. This is particularly the case of sleeping troubles, anxious or depressive states, But also muscle stiffness. So many avenues that justify taking a closer look at the potential of CBD in the fight against Parkinson's disease.

CBD and Parkinson's: state of the research

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Found in hemp flowers, CBD could relieve certain symptoms of Parkinson's

Research into the use of cannabidiol in Parkinson's disease is still at an early stage. In other words, we don't have almost no recoil about the long-term use of CBD for Parkinson's patients. It is therefore very complicated to form an objective opinion on the matter. Nevertheless, a few studies exist and have shown interesting results. The results are nevertheless to be qualified and will still have to be confirmed on a large scale since the groups studied are generally of very small size.

CBD and Parkinson's: expert advice

  • tremors: typical of Parkinson's and sometimes worsened by treatments, the tremors could be reduced by the consumption of CBD. It is in any case the conclusion of a (small) study conducted in 1986 already [link in English]. However, at high doses (>300 mg/day), CBD could again make the tremors worse.
  • Psychosis a 2009 study [link in English] showed a significant decrease in Parkinson's-related psychotic symptoms in CBD-treated patients with Parkinson's. No side effects were also observed.
  • Quality of life a 2014 study finally mentioned a possible positive effect of CBD in patients with Parkinson's without psychiatric comorbidity, advancing results that were significantly different from those obtained with placebo. Once again, the sample unfortunately remains too small to say more.

Taking CBD Oil for Parkinson's

THECBD oil is undoubtedly one of the most convenient cannabidiol derivatives to use and dose. Available in a bottle or in capsules, it can easily be swallowed, even if the person is disturbed by tremors. If you consider the consumption of CBD in the context of Parkinson's disease, however, it is worth repeating that the direct action of the cannabinoid on the disease has not yet been proven. The many qualities of CBD, on the other hand, seem to be adapted to the reduction of some of the direct symptoms of the disease as well as some side effects of its treatments conventional.

CBD must therefore be considered for what it is: not a treatment, but a hope for find, without known risk and at a lower cost, a better comfort of life daily. Before you start, always ask for theAdvice from a Parkinson's specialist. He will be able to advise you, help you find the appropriate dosage and prevent the risk ofdrug interaction with any treatment already in place. It is indeed advisable not to take CBD at the same time as medication. Spacing the takes is therefore the minimum to be respected.

What dose of CBD for Parkinson's?

Norman's answer, no doubt, but nevertheless honest: it depends. First of all because we all react to CBD differently (for genetic and environmental reasons). Then because a dose of CBD may be enough for a Parkinson's patient at a relatively early stage of the disease, but not for another, more advanced in its evolution. While waiting for official recommendations, finding the ideal dosage therefore requires trial and error until you find the right one.

La FFGP (French Federation of Parkinsonian groups) nevertheless recommends relatively high doses, as for related diseases including multiple sclerosis. For a 60 kilogram individual, this represents a daily dose between 14 and 75 milligrams. For a person weighing 80 kilograms, the dosage increases between 17 and 105 milligrams.

In any case, it is recommended to start with the lowest dosage and D'be consistent : the effects can take several days/weeks to really set in. If they are not marked enough, then it is time to gradually increase until the desired effects are achieved. In any case, it is recommended to consult the doctor to verify that taking CBD does not interfere with conventional treatment.