Evidence recently indicates that CBD provides significant, though temporary relief from the symptoms associated with a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.
What is CBD?
CBD is an abbreviation for cannabidiol oil. It is derived from an extraction process using either the Hemp plant or the Marijuana plant. Extracting CBD allows a consumer the medical benefits of medical marijuana without the high that is associated with THC. CBD in itself has no psychedelic properties and is considered safe for consumption.
Is Purchase and Use of CBD Legal?
It depends actually. If the CBD has been derived from the Marijuana plant, it is legal to purchase and use for medical purposes in states and countries that have legalized marijuana for medical purposes. Many states and countries have not legalized marijuana for medical purposes and many people with Parkinson’s have been unable to purchase CBD for this reason.
Until now. Some innovative companies have solved this dilemma by offering a form of CBD that is legal to purchase and use in all states and countries. The CBD that they offer is derived from the Hemp plant, not the Marijuana plant.
However, recent FDA regulations appear have even declared sales of CBD derived from Hemp illegal. Some websites still sell and distribute it however.
Impact of CBD on Parkinson’s Symptoms is Temporary
Use of CBD offers symptomatic suppression of Parkinson’s symptoms much like medications and supplements. It does not address the challenge of healing symptoms from the inside out. If your symptoms are to the point of interfering with an ability to live a full and vibrant life, then you clearly do not have the energy, focus or motivation to formulate a realistic healing program to reverse the symptoms. The initiative that is needed to kick start a recovery program is impossible to launch when you are feeling lousy. Use of CBD may just provide the kick start you need to launch a successful journey down the road to recovery.
Research (summarized below) suggests that use of CBD may well offer the opportunity to get temporary relief from symptoms. This is a valuable benefit in itself. When energy, focus and motivation return, the business of taking the actions necessary to heal from the inside out can begin at long last.
CBD Derived from the Hemp Plant
There are a few companies that sell CBD which is not legal in some states because it is extracted from the marijuana plant. It is also expensive to purchase. A company new to the CBD marketplace, Libre, offers a series of high quality CBD products that are legal in all states because the CBD has been extracted from the Hemp plant.
I hosted a guest from Libre on Parkinsons Recovery Radio. Charlotte Clarkson, who answered questions about CBD submitted by listeners. Click the arrow below to hear the replay of this very interesting interview. I learned a lot about CBD I did not know before!
People with Parkinson’s who have used CBD since this radio show interview report their varied experiences on the following website. Reports are generally in line with the research evidence reported below. One person’s feedback to me indicated that CBD did not help improve their balance, but it was helpful in providing relief from other symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease.
The link below takes you to Libre’s website. If you decide to try CBD I recommend you get the 300 ml – the highest potency – in light of the research evidence. If pain is an issue for you, they also offer a lotion FEElit which you can apply directly onto the site of the pain.
Research on CBD and Parkinson’s
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of at least 85 active cannabinoids. Scientific studies are reporting a wide variety of positive health benefits. CBD has been found to be helpful to the endocannabinoid system. Many scientific discoveries link poor health to endocannabinoid deficiencies.
Studies have found positive effects for the use of CBD on anxiety, stress and PTSD. You can find these studies listed at : pubmed.com (the US government’s index of scientific studies). Search and the terms “CBD and anxiety.”
Below are listed three abstracts from recent studies that have studied the effects of CBD on subjects who currently experience Parkinson’s symptoms.
Effects of cannabidiol in the treatment of patients with Parkinson’s disease: an exploratory double-blind trial.
J Psychopharmacol. 2014 Nov;28(11):1088-98. doi: 10.1177/0269881114550355. Epub 2014 Sep 18.
Chagas MH, Zuardi AW, Tumas V, Pena-Pereira MA, Sobreira ET, Bergamaschi MM, dos Santos AC, Teixeira AL, Hallak JE, Crippa JA.
Twenty one (21) subjects were assigned to three groups of seven subjects each who were treated with placebo, cannabidiol (CBD) 75 mg/day or CBD 300 mg/day. One week before the trial and in the last week of treatment subjects were evaluated with respect to motor and general symptoms score (UPDRS) and well-being and quality of life (PDQ-39).
No statistically significant differences were found in UPDRS scores. Despite the very small sample size, groups treated with placebo and CBD 300 mg/day had significantly different mean total scores in the PDQ-39 (p = 0.05). Significance is very much a factor of sample size, so this result is striking in itself. Findings suggest a possible effect of CBD in improving quality of life measures in PD patients with no psychiatric comorbidities.
Cannabis (medical marijuana) treatment for motor and non-motor symptoms of Parkinson disease: an open-label observational study
Clin Neuropharmacol. 2014 Mar-Apr;37(2):41-4. doi: 10.1097/WNF.0000000000000016.
- March 17, 2014
Inhaling whole-plant cannabis provides symptomatic relief in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD), according to a scientific article published in the March/April edition of the journal Clinical Neuropharmacology. Investigators at Tel Aviv University, Department of Neurology evaluated Parkinson’s disease symptoms in 22 patients at baseline and 30-minutes after inhaling cannabis.
Researchers reported that inhaled cannabis was associated with “significant improvement after treatment in tremor, rigidity, and bradykinsea (slowness of movement). There was also significant improvement of sleep and pain scores. No significant adverse effects of the drug were observed.”
The researchers concluded that their study is “the first to report an amelioration of both motor and non–motor symptoms in patients with PD treated with cannabis. The study opens new venues for treatment strategies in PD especially in patients refractory to current medications.”
Cannabidiol can improve complex sleep-related behaviours associated with rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder in Parkinson’s disease patients: a case series
J Clin Pharm Ther. 2014 Oct;39(5):564-6. doi: 10.1111/jcpt.12179. Epub 2014 May 21
Chagas MH, Eckeli AL, Zuardi AW, Pena-Pereira MA, Sobreira-Neto MA, Sobreira ET, Camilo MR, Bergamaschi MM, Schenck CH, Hallak JE, Tumas V, Crippa JA.
The administration of cannabidiol (CBD) was found to control sleep disorders in patients who currently experience the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease as reported in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics. An international team of researchers from the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil and the University of Minnesota Medical School USA evaluated the ingestion of CBD by four Parkinson’s disease patients with REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD). This condition is characterized by nightmares and active behavior during dreaming.
Cannabidiol treatment reduced symptoms in each of the four subjects. Symptoms returned with the same frequency and intensity following subjects’ discontinuation of the cannabinoid.
The CBD treatment options seems to be a good one to consider, especially if you are having significant challenges with functioning on a day to day basis. There is research on the use of CBD that address problems related to trauma, anxiety post traumatic stress – all of which lie at the core cause of neurological difficulties.
As with any natural treatment option, be sure to check with your doctor to insure that use of CBD will not interfere with any treatments your doctor has prescribed for you.
Robert Rodgers PhD