Medical Marijuana Research Overview of Huntington’s Disease

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc. 

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc. 

Huntington's disease is a fatal genetic disorder which causes the nerve cells in the basal ganglia to break down over time, and it can cause psychiatric disorders or affect a person's movement or cognitive abilities. There is no cure for Huntington's disease, but some studies show cannabis may be able to not only combat its symptoms, but also provide neuroprotective therapy that may delay the progression of the illness. 

Research has found Huntington's disease may result from a loss of cannabinoid receptors in the basal ganglia, and further research has found cannabis' interaction with the endocannabinoid system can be therapeutically beneficial for the disease. Preclinical trials have shown cannabinoids are effective at protecting the life of neurons in the brain, and by activating the CB2 receptors, the inflammation and toxicity of microglial cells is reduced and slows the neurodegeneration caused by Huntington's disease. Additionally, cannabinoids alleviated motor symptoms like tremors and movement disorders and reduced neuronal damage and death by activating the CB1 receptors, which in turn slows the progression of the disease. Research has found cannabis-based medications have also been found to effectively treat the progression of Huntington's disease. Researchers believe cannabinoids may provide neuroprotection by reducing inflammation through activation of CB2 receptors, limiting cell death through activation of CB1 receptors, and by providing antioxidant effects independently of cannabinoid receptors. Cannabinoids also reduce muscle spasms and increase concentration by activating vanilloid TRPV(1) receptors. 

This information has been provided by Medical Marijuana Inc. and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.