CBD was approved by the FDA to treat epilepsy back in 2018 when the Farm Bill was passed, but studies show that CBD could help with way more health issues than first meet the eye.
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects around one million Americans. Every year 60,000 people living in the USA are diagnosed with the condition and according to Parkinson’s News Today, the combined direct and indirect costs of Parkinson’s in the US are huge. Including treatment, disability, and similar costs, plus lost income from an inability to work, costs are estimated at $25 billion per year.
The average cost of Parkinson’s medication is $2,500 per year and Parkinson’s-related surgery can cost up to $100,000 per patient.
So what if a bottle of inexpensive and long-lasting CBD oil could help to reduce symptoms of Parkinson’s while also saving patients thousands in healthcare costs? Let’s have a look at some of the benefits…
What is CBD?
CBD or cannabidoil is derived from a natural compound found in cannabis plants named cannabinoids. CBD does not contain THC, the psychoactive ingredient that gives cannabis users a ‘high’ but has plenty of other great health benefits.
It can be consumed in a variety of forms including edibles, gummies, pills, and creams, although the current favorite seems to be CBD tinctures described by DailyCBDMag as an ‘oil-based form of CBD extract that contains extremely low quantities of THC’.
Although studies need to be performed on a much larger scale to confirm any benefits, the future of CBD use is looking bright.
The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease alongside medication used to treat it can cause sleep problems for some, which is why many people with the disease spend so much of the daytime sleeping.
This disruptive system can lead to more frequent, but lower quality sleep. CBD helps to improve sleep quality by relieving pain and anxiety to calm the brain. By taking CBD oil in the hours leading up to bedtime, those with Parkinson’s could see significant improvements in their sleep – being able to fall asleep faster for longer.
In the same way as patients with ADHD can take CBD to help with focus, those with Parkinson’s can take it to help the brain settle down and hone in on getting to sleep.
People with Parkinson’s disease commonly struggle with medicine-related tremors or uncontrolled muscle movements. It’s one symptom that healthcare providers simply haven’t been able to fix yet, as typical medicinal treatments could actually make the condition worse. CBD, however, could be the future cure to these unsolicited movements by relaxing the brain and therefore the body, too.
A 2011 study published by PudMed explored the benefits of medical marijuana on the pain of those with Parkinson’s disease. Although only 22 subjects were evaluated, the study found that marijuana use decreased pain.
Further studies on the specifics of CBD would need to be undertaken, however, millions across the world already use the oil to help relieve pain. CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) where ECS receptors create anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects that help with pain management.
Many don’t know this, but Parkinson’s disease can trigger some symptoms of psychosis including hallucinations, delirium, and delusions. Those in the later stages of the disease are more likely to experience these symptoms which can be frightening and particularly bad for the mental health of patients.
A small study on six consecutive outpatients in 2009 found the CBD did decrease the severity of psychosis in patients without creating adverse effects. The study read: “All patients received CBD in flexible-dose (started with an oral dose of 150 mg/day) for 4 weeks, in addition to their usual therapy.
“The psychotic symptoms evaluated by the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale and the Parkinson Psychosis Questionnaire showed a significant decrease under CBD treatment.”
Quality of life
There’s no question that Parkinson’s disease is awful to live with and makes everyday life significantly more difficult. With this in mind, CBD’s abilities to improve sleep and reduce pain, tremors, and psychosis in patients could highly benefit the lifestyle of those living with the disease.
Overall, CBD could have a huge impact on the mental health of patients. Millions take CBD for anxiety and depression as it can help to produce a substance called serotonin which acts to improve mood and reduce stress levels.
According to the Depression Alliance, Individuals with depression should begin with a dose of 5 to 10mg daily until the desired results are achieved, although you should always check with your doctor before beginning a course of CBD.
Can CBD directly treat Parkinson’s disease?
Although some studies suggest that CBD could help to prevent users from developing Parkinson’s, it cannot be used solely as ‘treatment’ once a patient has been diagnosed. Yes, CBD has loads of great uses for those with the disease that shouldn’t be ignored, but patients shouldn’t swap out their prescribed medication for CBD.
The FDA is yet to approve CBD for Parkinson’s but it is also yet to approve the oil for help with sleep, pain, and anxiety, too, all of which CBD is helping millions around the world with on a daily basis.
Levodopa is currently one of the most effective and commonly used treatments for Parkinson’s which helps to replenish the level of dopamine in the brain. While it is effective, it can also cause symptoms of anxiety, depression, and sleep quality. CBD could help to reduce those symptoms.
While research is plenty when it comes to Parkinson’s, very little treatment methods have been discovered. If CBD can help patients to live a pain-reduced lifestyle with better sleeping patterns of general quality of life, though, we say go for it and give it a try.
While CBD could massively improve the lives of those living with Parkinson’s disease, many more studies need to be carried out before the FDA can officially recognize it.CBD is best taken alongside Parkinson’s treatments such as Levodopa for the best effects.