How Do Medical Marijuana And Parkinsons Work
So what is your bodys endocannabinoid system?
Basically, your brain has tons of cannabinoid receptors all over the place. It produces its own cannabinoids but outside sources can also dock in these receptors too.
Heres whats so special about the endocannabinoid system and PD: these receptors are highly concentrated in an area specifically affected by Parkinsons.
Known as the basal ganglia, this powerhouse contains the globus pallidus and the substantia nigra pars reticulata, which are really complicated names for saying its a cannabinoid receptor-packed house.
This area is home to the most densely packed cannabinoid receptors youll find anywhere else in your body.
So wouldnt it be great if you could find a drug to specifically work in this area and hopefully influence these receptors to counteract the symptoms of PD?
Cue medical marijuana.
See, there are over 100 different cannabinoids found in cannabis.
The two main cannabinoids are:
- THC, is known more formally as tetrahydrocannabinol. This is responsible for the high you feel with marijuana.
- CBD, or cannabidiol, lacks all the psychoactive effects of THC yet has been studied extensively for its therapeutic use in diseases such as cancer, epilepsy, Alzheimers, and more .
When the American Academy of Neurology conducted an overview of 34 studies on medical marijuana for neurological disorders, they learned spasticity, central pain syndromes, and bladder dysfunction seemed to be improved after marijuana use .
How Is Parkinson’s Disease Treated
Even though Parkinson’s disease has no cure as of yet, some medications can significantly improve symptoms, especially in the early stages. Some doctors may suggest surgery that can help regulate some regions of the brain and improve symptoms.
In recent years, there have been significant changes in treatments for Parkinson’s disease, according to Web MD. New drugs have been developed, and doctors better understand how to maximize older treatments. These developments make a big difference in the quality of life for Parkinson’s patients.
One of the most common drugs used to treat Parkinson’s disease is Levodopa . This drug works by helping to control symptoms of the disease like stiff and rigid body parts, and slow body movements. Another medication used to treat Parkinson’s is Sinemet, which is a combination of two drugs: Levodopa and Carbidopa. Another add-on medication to treat the disease is Safinamide. When patients taking Levodopa and Carbidopa have symptoms that were previously controlled, Safinamide can help prolong the time that patients suffer no symptoms.
Cbd As A Treatment For Parkinsons
CBD hasnt been used in people with Parkinsons disease long-term, and research into the benefits of this cannabinoid only began a few decades ago.
That means research is limited, and often, the studies that have been done are very small. Scientists and doctors need to conduct larger-scale efforts to confirm any benefits.
However, some studies suggest CBD may have some positive effects, especially when it comes to nonmotor symptoms, such as depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders.
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Symptoms Of Parkinsons Disease
As we already know, Parkinsons Disease is a progressive disorder so the onset of symptoms is very slow but the severity increases over the years. Now, the symptoms can vary from one person to another. But, some of the most common ones are as follows:
- Weight fluctuations and fatigue
In some cases, these symptoms can also be caused by a different medical condition. But, a medical diagnosis is important to identify the cause.
What Are The Risks
Potential benefits of marijuana use need to be compared to possible side effects both on an aggregate level in large scale studies as well as evaluated on an individual basis. A small percentage of people experienced nausea and dizziness, hallucinatory episodes, and some alteration of executive function.2 We dont yet know enough about drug interactions with marijuana use.
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Cannabis For Parkinsons: How Does It Help
Is cannabis for Parkinsons effective? Cannabis has not yet been shown to be effective in the treatment of Parkinsons disease. That is why researchers are always looking for new solutions to assist individuals to manage their Parkinsons symptoms and improve their overall standard of living. Nevertheless, cannabis can be one of the alternative therapeutic options.
Besides, cannabis and its active ingredients have been the subject of much research. While the study on cannabis isnt completely definitive, it does show promise for individuals with Parkinsons disease. It may assist with symptom control in general.
Continue reading to discover more about Parkinsons disease and its management with cannabis.
How To Obtain Cbd
The best place to buy CBD rich medical cannabis is from state licensed medical dispensaries. Alternatively, CBD can be purchased legally online here.
For convenience, many dispensaries also provide delivery services. Unfortunately, dispensaries are not legal in every state. Oftentimes one can find hemp-derived CBD in local health stores. If taken once daily, a continuous regimen of CBD would cost approximately $2-$3 per day. As detailed in the following section, insurance will not cover the cost, therefore the daily cost would be out-of-pocket.
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Medical Marijuana And Parkinsons: How Can It Help
Parkinsons disease counts as a qualifying medical condition in most states with medical marijuana. Learn what the science says about cannabis for Parkinsons now.
Whats the connection between medical marijuana and Parkinsons disease?
With several states now making medical marijuana legal for patients with qualifying diseases like PD, researchers are allowed to conduct more studies to determine the real benefits of this new form of therapy. After all, few can forget the jaw-dropping transformation of Larry, a retired police captain, and PD sufferer, as he tries medical marijuana for the first time in the feature documentary Ride with Larry:
In less than five minutes, Larry goes from having severe tremors and being barely able to talk to an almost complete turnaround of both those symptoms and more.
So its no surprise others with PD want to know if medical marijuana is right for managing their symptoms too.
Since medical marijuana is currently only legal in 29 states, researchers are just now beginning to understand why medical marijuana and Parkinsons might be so successful.
Heres what we know so far:
I Was Prescribed Levodopa
The medication most people with Parkinsons end up taking at some point is levodopa, which is the gold standard for treating Parkinsons. It was developed in the late 60s. It is sometimes used for diagnostic purposes.
I was prescribed levodopa and was told that if it provided relief from my initial symptoms, that there was a good chance I had PD. Otherwise, there was a good chance that I didnt have PD but, possibly something worse.
I remember thinking while I want relief from my symptoms, I dont want a diagnosis of PD. Unfortunately, I couldnt have it both ways. If I found relief there was an excellent chance that I had PD .
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How Cbd Oil Compares To Alternative Treatments For Parkinsons Disease
There are various alternative treatments for Parkinsons disease. These include massages, acupuncture, yoga, and meditation.
While these alternative remedies have therapeutic benefits, especially on Parkinsons symptoms, like chronic pain due to movement impairments, CBD use proves to have more benefits.
CBD may aid in alleviating some of the motor and non-motor symptoms of Parkinsons disease, as shown in the studies previously mentioned.
Insurance Coverage Of Cbd
Unfortunately, private health insurance companies will not cover the cost of CBD products with the exception of Epidiolex, which is FDA-approved for epilepsy. That said, some Parkinsons patients and their caretakers may find that high-CBD strains of medical marijuana arent overly expensive and are safer compared to medications prescribed for Parkinsons disease.
People frequently want to know if Medicare covers the cost of CBD products. As stated above, CBD does not have adequate FDA approval. Therefore, Medicare does not cover the cost of such products, nor does Medicare allow it to be used towards a Part B or prescription drug plan deductible. This is true for all conditions, not just for Parkinsons disease.
As with Medicare, Medicaid will not cover the cost of CBD products.
The VA will not directly cover the cost of products containing CBD. However, there are VA pensions, such as the basic pension and Aid & Attendance Pension from which veterans or surviving spouses receive a monthly monetary benefit. Recipients of these pensions are able to use the money as they see fit, which means theoretically that one could use it towards purchasing CBD products. Learn more about these pensions here.
Many CBD retailers provide discounts to veterans who might need help covering the costs of their products. It is possible for active duty and military veterans to receive savings of more than 50% from companies that deliver CBD nationwide.
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Natural Remedy For Parkinsons #4 Chlorella And Borax:
If you have a neurological disease such as Parkinsons orAlzheimers, the importance of removing heavy metals from the body – especiallyfrom the brain and nervous system – cannot be overstated. Heavy metalsaccumulate in the brain and nervous system at a rapid rate and cause damage tothe neurological pathways and brain inflammation. Fluoride is one ofthe worst, however, mercury, lead, aluminium and cadmium are also extremely dangerous.Chlorella and borax not only remove these heavy metals completely, theycontinue to prevent further toxic build-ups.
Chlorella is a miracle blue-green algae and one of themost powerful detoxifiers and chelators yet discovered. Whenits combined with cilantro, its benefits are enhancedsignificantly. A Russian study found that chlorella, combined with cilantro,was able to remove all heavy metals from the body, including fluoride and mercury,with no adverse or harmful side effects. You can purchase chlorellain powdered form online or from most health food stores. Just make sure you buythe Broken Cell Wall Chlorella as this is the strongest and most bio-available.For dosage recommendations, simply follow the directions on the container.
Parkinsons Disease And Cbmps
The survey, conducted among members of the German Parkinson Association , assessed patient perceptions of medicinal cannabis and evaluated the experiences of patients already using cannabis products.
Over 1,300 responses to the survey were analysed by the team, which found that interest in the Parkinsons Disease community in medical cannabis was high, but knowledge about different types of products was limited. 51% of respondents were aware of the legality of medicinal cannabis in Germany, and 28% were aware of the various routes of administration , but only 9% were aware of the difference between THC and CBD.
Dr Carsten Buhmann, Department of Neurology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, said: Medical cannabis was legally approved in Germany in 2017 when approval was given for therapy-resistant symptoms in severely affected patients independent of diagnosis and without clinical evidence-based data.
PD patients fulfilling these criteria are entitled to be prescribed medical cannabis, but there are few data about which type of cannabinoid and which route of administration might be promising for which PD patient and which symptoms. We also lack information about the extent to which the PD community is informed about medicinal cannabis and whether they have tried cannabis and, if so, with what result.
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Naturaltreatment For Parkinsons #6 Magnesium & Iodine:
Magnesium is vital for the health of the entire nervoussystem, especially the protective layer that surrounds the nerves . Magnesiumis also essential for the production of dopamine and helps protect dopaminergicneurons in the substantia nigra from degeneration. In addition to this, new evidence is showing that low levels of magnesium in the brain causes a build-up ofheavy metals a major factor in the development of Parkinsons, Alzheimers,epilepsy and MS. In a recent trial, 30 epileptics were given 450 mg ofmagnesium daily and this successfully controlled their seizures. Ifmagnesium can help epilepsy patients, it can certainly help Parkinsons sufferers. Worldrenowned magnesium expert and author, Dr Carolyn Dean, has both Parkinsons andAlzheimers disease in her top 55 health conditions caused by amagnesium deficiency list and says that magnesium is 100% essential for the preventionand treatment of both of these diseases Dr Carolyn Dean Interview
In regards to iodine, well-known researcher and author,Dr James Howenstein, says
Iodineis found in large quantities in the brain and the ciliary body of the eye. A lackof iodine may be involved in the production of Parkinson’s disease andglaucoma.
Inthe brain, iodine concentrates in the substantia nigra, an area of the brainthat has been associated with Parkinson’s disease.
David Brownstein M.D. 9
Best Sources of Magnesium and Iodine
-What Youll Need
1 cup of Magnesium Chloride Flakes
1 cup of Distilled Water
Potential Risks Of Use
Studies on CBD have shown that this form of treatment is usually tolerated well by users and is regarded as safe. There has also been no evidence for potential of abuse and/or addiction. That said, a few undesirable side effects have been noted, which include diarrhea, appetite changes, and tiredness. In addition, there may be dangerous drug interactions when CBD is combined with certain pharmaceutical medications. And the FDA warns that CBD can cause liver injury . The agency also says that long-term side effects remain unknown. Therefore, it is crucial that one speak with his/her physician prior to adding CBD to any medication regimen. In addition, one should monitor side effects upon use.
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Cannabis Has Antidepressant Qualities
Up to 50% of individuals afflicted by Parkinsons disease exhibitsymptoms of depression, which can negatively affect disease progression in various ways. It isthought that there is a genetic contribution to the likelihood of Parkinsons-afflictedindividuals suffering depression. Polymorphisms of the CNR1 genewhich encodesfor the expression of the CB1-receptorsmay have a fundamental role to play.
A study published in Nature in2005 indicated that individuals with a particular polymorphism consistingof two long-chain alleles in the CNR1 gene were less likely to develop depression as asymptom of Parkinsons disease. It was also noted thatdepression was more likely in patients with akinetic Parkinsons than in those with tremoric or mixed-type Parkinsons.
Furthermore, various studies have indicated that depression is often accompanied by changes in levels of endogenous levels of cannabinoids such as anandamide and 2-AG in the prefrontal cortex, an area heavily involved in mood-regulation and decision-making.
While more research must be done to ascertain the precise relationship between Parkinsons disease, CNR1 expression and depression, there is definite therapeutic potential in manipulation of the endocannabinoid system to reduce symptoms of depression in Parkinsons-afflicted individuals.
Causes Of Parkinsons Disease
People suffering from Parkinsons disease are not able to produce enough chemical dopamine. The reason behind this is that some of the nerve cells that produce it have died. These cells stop working correctly and eventually become lost. The fall of dopamine levels results in abnormal brain activity. And this further causes symptoms of Parkinsons.
But, there are also some factors involved in this. These include genetics, toxins, gender, age, and Lewy bodies.
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Studies Have Suggested That Cannabis Might Improve Sleep Tremor And Motor Function
VANCOUVERAnecdotal reports, patient surveys, and studies have suggested that cannabis may help treat motor and nonmotor symptoms of Parkinsons disease. Two studies presented at the 21st International Congress of Parkinsons Disease and Movement Disorders further explored this possibility and assessed the effects of oral cannabidiol and inhaled cannabis in patients with Parkinsons disease.
Where Is It Legal
While illegal at the federal level, medical marijuana is legal in 33 states and the District of Columbia for certain conditions.
In some states, Parkinsons disease is one of these conditions. However, state laws vary in the conditions the medical marijuana can be used for, the formulations allowed and whether physician certification is required.
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Cannabis For Pain Management
The discovery of pain as a symptom of Parkinsons disease is relatively recent. Even though musculoskeletal pain is the most common form, accounting for 40%90% of the reported cases, it had not previously been linked to the disease in any conclusive way. However, this pain is often severe to the point of surpassing the other symptoms in terms of severity, and it can have psychological repercussions in the long term such as depression and anxiety.
Pain can be a direct consequence of the motordisorders, such as pain suffered as a result of prolonged muscle rigidity, oreven pain linked to dystonia, postural problems, and more rarely, comingdirectly from the cervical region.
This 2012 study published in the European Journal of Pain was able to examine 12 different genes known to be involved with pain in general in a group of 229 Parkinsons disease patients. The researchers then discovered that these genes reacted to pain in a recognisable way. Specifically, FAAH was associated with Parkinsons disease-related pain, which is interesting because FAAH is an enzyme that metabolizes endogenous cannabinoids, including anandamide.
The researchers have recommended continued research in order to optimisepotential treatment based on the individual characteristics of the patientsgene mapping.
Does Cannabis Help Parkinson’s Disease
Approximately 60,000 people each year are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in the United States. More than 10 million people worldwide are dealing with this horrible disease. There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease. There are treatments, medications, and even some surgical procedures that may help with symptoms, but the disease is progressive and worsens over time.
It can be difficult for someone to live with Parkinson’s disease, and it can also be hard for friends and family to watch a loved one’s health deteriorate. Actor Michael J. Fox is a notable person living with Parkinson’s disease. According to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, most people who develop Parkinson’s disease are about 60 years old, but it can occur in people younger than that, as it did with him. It is thought that most people with Parkinson’s disease can live between 10 and 20 years, but this too can vary.
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