New Research Emerges Around CBD and Parkinson’s Disease

New Research Emerges Around CBD and Parkinson’s Disease

Cannabinoids have extraordinary assets as shown by scientific research. Consumers continue to report that CBD assists with depression, anxiety, and pain.

New research by Ribeirão Preto School of Medicine, University of São Paulo states how CBD could be added to Parkinson's disease (PD) medications. It is said to help patients not only feel better but also tackle a broader range of symptoms beyond those related to motor function.

CBD attaches to receptors in the central nervous system (CNS) to block certain signals from reaching the brain. It can block sensory neurons and reduce pain that the system feels. Because CBD can block receptors, there is a potential to add it to different medications to enhance them in different ways.

What Is Parkinson's Disease?

Nearly one million individuals in the U.S. are living with PD, which is more than the combined number of people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, and Lou Gehrig's disease (or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis). This means that approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with PD each year.

The number of individuals in the U.S. living with PD is expected to rise to 1.2 million by 2030. Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects predominately dopamine-producing neurons in a specific area of the brain called substantia nigra.

Symptoms develop slowly over years. The progression of symptoms is often a bit different from one person to another due to the diversity of the disease. PD symptoms may include:

  • Tremors, mainly at rest and described as pill rolling tremor in hands. Other forms of tremor are possible
  • Bradykinesia
  • Limb rigidity
  • Gait and balance problems

CBD Research for PD

CBD is the second most abundant cannabinoid in the cannabis plant. Research shows that individuals with PD are placed on a dopamine regimen when diagnosed. This helps in the early stages with motor function — but doesn’t stop PD from advancing. The dopamine regimen also doesn’t treat the non-motor symptoms that also come with Parkinson’s, like dementia, depression, anxiety, pain, and psychosis.

Scientists posed the question of adding the cannabinoid CBD in addition to Parkinson’s disease medications to help with the non-motor symptoms. The study — published by the Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry in March of 2020 showed “reduced psychotic symptoms…with no influence on cognitive and motor signs and no severe side effects.”

That means CBD helped with non-motor symptoms along with Parkinson’s disease meds. Many of those within the studies said that they began to feel better and had more control of themselves than they had previously had when just on Parkinson’s medication. 

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