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When Medical Cannabis Makes Sense in California

Recent studies show that cannabis is indeed the best natural treatment for Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease is one of the most common neurodegenerative disorders.

He was nominated by Jean-Martin Charcot, a French neurologist, in 1872 after the disease was first identified by James Parkinson in 1817. More than a century later, there is still no known cure for this disease that robs people of their dignity and their quality of life. However, many modern treatments have been developed including dopamine therapy, surgery, and even deep brain stimulation to heal the affected area of ​​the brain.

The problem with pharmaceutical drugs that were designed for Parkinson’s disease is that they also leave patients with many unwanted side effects. These drugs are primarily intended to increase dopamine levels since symptoms of Parkinson’s disease occur when dopamine levels drop too low. Although all patients with Parkinson’s disease experience different symptoms, the commonly used medications are all the same. these include levodopa, dopamine agonists, anticholinergics, glutamate antagonists, COMT inhibitors, and MAO-B inhibitors.

The side effects of Medicines for Parkinson’s disease include nausea, low blood pressure, involuntary movements, hallucinations, confusion, and behavioral problems – such as an uncontrollable need to have sex or play games.

Fortunately, more and more patients are finding hope using cannabis-based medicines.

What the studies say

In 2021, a investigation sent to patients with Parkinson’s disease in Germany analyzed the impact of cannabis products. The results, which were published in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease, reported that more than half of patients recognize positive clinical outcomes. In Germany, THC products can already be prescribed in cases where conventional drugs have not worked. Meanwhile, CBD can be obtained without a prescription on the Internet as well as in pharmacies.

“Medical cannabis was legally approved in Germany in 2017 when approval was given for treatment-resistant symptoms in severely affected patients, regardless of diagnosis and without evidence-based clinical data,” says the lead researcher. study, Professor Carsten Buhmann of the German University Medical Center in Hamburg. -Eppendorf Department of Neurology. The researchers intended to analyze MMJ prescriptions and then assess feedback from patients who used it. The study was cross-sectional, nationwide, and used a questionnaire format. Subsequently, 1,300 questionnaires were completed.

They found that 54% of existing patients who were using cannabis strains for Parkinson’s disease said they were beneficial and were generally well tolerated. Over 40% said marijuana was effective in managing muscle cramps and pain, while over 20% said it helped reduce stiffness, anxiety, tremors, freezing and restless legs.

“Our data confirms that patients with Parkinson’s disease have a great interest in medical cannabis treatment but lack knowledge on how to take it and especially on the differences between the two main cannabinoids, THC and CBD” , added Buhmann.

The Michael J Fox Foundation (MJFF) also conducted a recent survey through its online platform called Fox Insight. The MJFF was created to raise awareness of Parkinson’s disease, conduct research through patient engagement in hopes of finding an objective test, and support the development of new treatments.

Researchers from the University of Colorado, namely Samantha Holden, MD, MS, and her colleagues asked participants about the type of cannabis they consumed and the amount of CBD and THC; they also asked how often they consumed it and for how long they took medication with it.

Nearly 1,900 patients with Parkinson’s disease shared their comments. The results, which were published in the Movement Disorders Clinical Practice journal, found that more than 70% of patients use marijuana, most often orally, once a day. While some of them weren’t sure what type of cannabis they were taking, almost half took CBD-rich products while 15% took almost equal amounts of CBD and THC.

Many patients have reported that cannabis helps them relieve pain, restlessness, anxiety, or sleep.

Then in a Survey 2022 Among 1,881 patients with Parkinson’s disease, researchers at the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus analyzed symptoms and prescription drug use after cannabis administration.

The data revealed that respondents found the most cannabis benefits in the areas of pain, sleep, anxiety, and restlessness after using either whole-plant cannabis or CBD. However, patients who also used high potency THC reported improvements in depression, tremors, appetite and nausea, although they found it worsened bradykinesia, a symptom of Parkinson’s disease. associated with slow movements. Similar to other studies, many respondents said cannabis was effective in helping them quit prescription medications, especially those used for anxiety and pain.

“These survey results offer broad insight into usage patterns and real-world experience among a large group of people living with PD and provide initial findings regarding the differential symptomatic effects of high-THC products. compared to high-CBD products,” the authors concluded. “In summary, people with PD report that cannabis subjectively improves some PD-related symptoms, with higher THC products conferring benefits more frequently than high CBD products,” the authors concluded.

“Next steps should include more rigorous controlled studies, informed by the findings here, to more objectively investigate the effects of different types of cannabis on symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, as well as the impact of different ingestion methods and specific doses,” they wrote. .


Together with all of the overwhelmingly positive patient feedback, this shows that cannabis holds promise as a natural alternative to current Parkinson’s medications. There’s still a lot we don’t know about this, like the best THC:CBD ratio and route of administration, but with more studies like this, we should know more in no time.




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