How Cannabis Treats Parkinson’s disease

Photo Credit: WebMD (http://www.webmd.com/parkinsons-disease/)

Photo Credit: WebMD (http://www.webmd.com/parkinsons-disease/)

Parkinson's Disease is a movement disorder that causes tremors, stiffness, slow movement, and loss of balance. There is no cure for Parkinson's, so current treatment regimens focus on symptom management. Research suggests cannabis may be able to provide therapeutic relief for these symptoms without the harmful side effects. 

One study that can be found in Clinical Neuropharmacology revealed patients who consumed cannabis also reported a significant decrease in tremors, rigidity, and slow movement. Similarly, at the Prague Movement Disorder Centre, half of Parkinson's patients who consumed cannabis reported improvements in their motor symptoms. Another study from the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry revealed THC helps preserve neuronal structure, thereby preventing the neurodegeneration and mitochondrial dysfunction that leads to Parkinson's disease. CBD also has neuroprotective properties, and one study from Toxicology in Vitro showed CBD prevents neuronal cell death by blocking MPP+. Some medications that treat Parkinson's disease increase the levels of dopamine in the brain, which results in something called Dyskinesia and causes abnormal involuntary movements. Now, a study published in Movement Disorders found these symptoms are reduced when the body's cannabinoid receptors are activated.

This information has been adapted from Health MJ and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.