Cannabis can help control a lot of the symptoms of Parkinson’s and may even slow the disease
Self-medication with cannabis is becoming increasingly popular among Parkinson’s patients. In fact, the prevalence of this self-medication is what inspired the scientific study. In general, many Parkinson’s disease patients describe relief from a multitude of symptoms after consuming medical cannabis.
Parkinson’s is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects the central nervous system by destroying dopamine-producing cells in an area of the brain known as the substantia nigra. Motor functions are the first to be affected and as the disease progresses, cognitive impairment, dementia, and depression can occur.
Fortunately, cannabis has become a great ally for these patients. For example, the plant can help against dyskinesia. Dyskinesia is a common symptom of Parkinson’s. The term refers to involuntary movements of the muscles.
Cannabinoid receptors are present in large quantities in the basal ganglia themselves. Therefore, it is believed that natural endocannabinoid transmission plays a role in these fundamental and related processes. Several studies have shown improvement in tremors (shaking), rigidity, and bradykinesia (slowness of movement) after cannabis use.
Cannabis is a neuromodulator. Thanks to the stimulation of dopaminergic receptors, cannabidiol (CBD) can help to regulate and increase dopamine levels, favoring motor symptomatology and daily autonomy. The anti-inflammatory effect is also very helpful. By activating different channels, CBD helps to reduce inflammation at the neurological level as well as at the articular and muscular levels.
Cannabis has also become a very successful treatment thanks to its neuroprotective effect. Through indirect stimulation of the Endocannabinoid System, it promotes different neuroprotective mechanisms against inflammation and oxidative stress that promote motor and cognitive functions in these patients.