The anecdotal reports on cannabis consumption in almost any method (oral, inhaled, etc.) have found a relationship between it and benefits to the motor and non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.
While further research is still needed to confirm this link conclusively, the sheer amount of anecdotal evidence and consumer reports has driven researchers to investigate the subject in detail.
The lack of FDA-approved, CBD-based prescription medications has made a dent in the amount of human research possible.
While clinical research is still possible for CBD alone, investigating the tolerability of CBD prescription drugs in patients with Parkinson’s is hindered by the fact. In the article below, you’ll find a summary of conclusions that researchers have arrived at in different human-based studies.
Hemp Oil Benefits for Parkinson’s
In 2020, a study on the safety and tolerability of CBD in 10 patients with Parkinson’s disease was held. The study focused on the use of Epidiolex, the only FDA-approved, CBD-based prescription drug used in the U.S.
Epidiolex has been found to have positive effects on symptoms in patients with distinct types of epilepsy. Being the only prescription drug available in the U.S., researchers chose to use it for a controlled approach.
The study found that out of the 10 patients, 3 of them presented side effects (abdominal pain and allergic reactions).
However, none of the side effects were considered severe.
The other seven patients that completed the study were found to have a significantly decreased Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) score. In addition to feeling relief from Parkinson’s-related pain and irritability .
In conclusion, although considered preliminary, the study found that CBD is well-tolerated, safe, and could have beneficial effects on patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.
A second study made in 2019 that focused on the use of cannabis in diagnosed Parkinson’s patients found similar results. The only difference is that the strain and CBD content of the cannabis flower used was not determined.
The study consisted of logging tremor strength 1 hour before and 1 hour after cannabis use. Participants in the study had a sensor that recorded the power of the tremors and a button they could press to log the exact moment of cannabis consumption.
Results showed significant reductions of the outbursts in the hour after cannabis consumption. Still, the study also concluded that the link between CBD and tremors could be perceived up to 3 hours after cannabis is consumed.
Another unexpected benefit of cannabis found in this study was the improved sleep that most patients reported. On the other hand, side effects included the usual from high-THC strains and inhaled cannabis smoke; sleepiness, drowsiness, short-term memory impairment, and dry throat.
There have been plenty of studies addressing the use of CBD and cannabis to help control related symptoms, but plenty is yet to be confirmed conclusively.
One study determined that quality of life was improved but found no significant changes in UPDRS scores in patients taking CBD , which leaves much of the evidence gathered to be labeled as anecdotal.
Another study that evaluated cannabis consumption in Parkinson’s patients presented improvements in UPDRS scores in all 22 of the subjects used in the study.
This study only evaluated the 30 minutes right after cannabis was used. The same study also recorded an improvement in tremor outbursts after cannabis was consumed. While these results are widely positive and suggest a potential link between CBD and tremors, the study also lacks specifics like CBD and THC concentrations in the cannabis used in the study .
The effectiveness of CBD and cannabis use has also been studied for patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease that showed symptoms of psychosis.
In a small six-patient study on the use of CBD for Parkinson’s-related psychosis, subjects’ symptoms showed a significant decrease under CBD treatment. While the research only suggests that CBD could be effective, safe, and well-tolerated for patients showing signs of psychosis, the findings are incredibly encouraging .
CBD and Parkinson’s Disease have long shared a link between them, but the research to back it up has been lacking. As the cannabis industry has progressed into a taboo-less state, further regulation and legalization, research, and development in the medical sector for CBD-based products have benefited.
Although there is still a long way to prove the benefits of CBD on Parkinson’s Disease conclusively, the evidence collected so far is highly encouraging. With studies showing patients with reduced UPDRS scores and milder tremor outbursts, researchers will continue to run tests that will ultimately drive conclusive results and possibly, regulated prescription CBD-based drugs for Parkinson’s.