Medical Marijuana Can Improve Quality Of Life
When an anonymous questionnaire was sent out to people with PD attending the Prague Movement Disorder Centre, 25% of 339 respondents admitted to taking cannabis and 45.9% of them found some form of benefit from doing so .
And in another study, researchers observed a statistically significant difference between baseline and final assessment in the overall PD questionnaire score between a placebo and those taking CBD, which suggests there might be a possible effect of CBD on improving quality of life .
Plus, the risk of serious psychoactive incidents, like hallucinations or manic episodes, is less than 1% with medical marijuana.
Though more research will be needed to understand exactly how best to safely prescribe medical cannabis based on each patient and their specific PD symptoms, the early results seem promising.
Trying Medical Marijuana For Parkinsons
If youre interested in trying medical marijuana for PD or are inquiring for a loved one, you should first seek out your local laws to determine the legality of the drug in your state, the types of medicine you can use, where to get it, and how much you need.
Benefits And Risks Of Using Medical Marijuana
The decision to use medical marijuana comes down to an individual choice based on weighing the pros and cons.
The Parkinsons Foundation reports that some research has found cannabis to be neuroprotective, offering potential guard against damaging neurons. The cannabinoids may protect brain cells through antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, notes the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
In addition to possible sleep, anxiety, and tremor benefits, patients may find that it relaxes muscles and makes movement easier. One of the symptoms of Parkinsons is rigidity from a tightening of the muscles. It may also help with loss of appetite.
Because dosing can be difficult, potency of the cannabis can pose risks. Parkinsons patients can have trouble with cognition, and strong marijuana can cause problems with learning, memory, and thinking. If a person gets too high, he or she can feel overanxious and paranoid, and have difficulty functioning at all. If the product is too strong, the user may experience hallucinations or delusions, according to Dr. Beck.
Dr. Duarte advises that you dont want to give a THC component to anyone who is at risk of psychosis.
Sustained marijuana use may raise blood pressure, according to a study published in August 2017 in the Journal of Hypertension, and Beck cautions that the product may also cause blood pressure to drop dangerously low.
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Cannabis For Parkinsons Patients With Anxiety And Depression
Along with the struggles of PD also comes a high prevalence of anxiety and depression .
At least half of all Parkinsons patients may suffer from clinical depression at some point during the course of their disease, estimates from the Michael J. Fox Foundation point out, and sometimes depression manifests even before motor symptoms .
Depression in PD is thought to be connected to the neurotransmitter disturbances in that area of the brain, and most specifically with monoamine neurotransmitters.
But low dopamine levels, which are characteristic of PD, also contribute to depression in the form of apathy and a loss of motivation.
Yet in self-reported data collected by the app Strainprint, which helps users of medical marijuana track their symptoms after using different strains, medical cannabis users perceived :
- 50% less depression
- 58% less anxiety and stress
After reviewing the data, there was an association between high CBD /low THC strains and the largest changes in depression ratings.
This information may be used to help those with PD find relief without adding another prescription pill to their daily cocktail.
Another symptom of PD affecting a patients quality of life is their sleep cycle.
How Does Medical Marijuana Affect The Body
Marijuana affects the body through neurotransmitters, which are the chemical messengers of the nervous system.
Various factors can stimulate neurotransmitter activity, initiating a set of physiological responses. In cannabis, it is mainly THC or CBD binding to endocannabinoid receptors that produce new physiological reactions in the body.
The endocannabinoid system is one of the most important neurotransmitter systems in the body. It utilizes cannabinoid receptors located throughout the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system . Cannabis works to turn on endocannabinoid neurotransmitters through activity at these receptors.
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Relief For Less Characteristic Symptoms Of Parkinsons Disease
While there is limited evidence that has been gathered evaluating cannabinoid medicine and medical cannabis use as treatment for Parkinsons Disease, there is a wealth of information on the effects of these options on symptoms often experienced by patients with Parkinsons Disease, such as pain and sleep disturbance. According to a post on the Parkinsons Disease Foundation website by Blair Ford, M.D., Descriptions of Parkinsons Disease do not generally include the mention of pain. And yet, when carefully questioned, more than half of all people with Parkinsons disease say that they have experienced painful symptoms and various forms of physical discomfort. There is mounting evidence that cannabis may be useful for some patients in managing chronicpain. Additionally, evidence for relief from symptoms experienced by patients with Parkinsons Disease, such as depression and anxiety, has been discovered with the use of cannabinoid therapy. Cannabis use may also provide relief to patients experiencing nausea and vomiting, potential side effects of certain standard PD medications.
Does Medical Cannabis Help Parkinsons
Medical marijuana has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and research has shown this can help prevent neuron damage. This is essential with Parkinsons since the inflammation can be responsible for causing damage to brain neurons that produce dopamine. Medical marijuana treatments may be able to slow some of the neuron damage in the brain and slow down the advancement of Parkinsons.
Other benefits of medical cannabis can include pain management that can help with problems such as sleeping and nausea. Florida medical marijuana may be able to help people with Parkinsons enjoy more natural movement since it contains muscle-relaxing properties.
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What Is Medical Marijuana
Medical marijuana is cannabis that’s prescribed by a physician to treat or provide relief for a medical condition.
There are around 400 chemicals in the cannabis plant, and more than 60 of them are referred to as cannabinoids. The high marijuana users get is primarily due to the most psychoactive cannabinoid in the plant called tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.
Cannabinol, or CBD, is the other cannabinoid, which is used in medical marijuana. CBD does not cause a high when taken alone and, in fact, moderates the psychoactive effects. Research is being done to determine how medical marijuana can help treat or relieve symptoms of various diseases, including Parkinson’s disease.
Is Cbd Oil Prescribed For Parkinsons Disease
As mentioned, CBD oil or any other form of medicinal cannabis is not approved by the TGA as a medicine. Doctors can only prescribe it under the TGA Special Access Scheme for certain conditions, and for patients who meet strict criteria. Doctors must also receive approval from the TGA before the patient can receive treatment.
Whether CBD oil is a viable option for patients with Parkinsons is at the discretion of a doctors professionals assessment of a patients symptoms and needs. Researchers believe CBD oil may help reduce anxiety, tremor and brain inflammation that promotes worsening of the disease, but results are mixed on whether CBD oil alone has consistently positive or lasting effects for Parkinsons disease and further clinical trials are needed.
Other ways medicinal cannabis treatments help Parkinsons patients
Some studies indicate that medical cannabis treatments like CBD oil or products combining THC and CBD may help to insomnia, anxiety and depressive symptoms in human and animal trials. Anxiety can appear with Parkinsons disease as a result of the disease itself, or due to the physical and mental hardship of experiencing a chronic and incurable condition.
Nausea and appetite are two other major concerns for Parkinsons patients where medical cannabis may provide benefit. By reducing nausea and promoting appetite the negative impact of the disease on quality of life and other fundamental body functions can be reduced.
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Other Treatments For Parkinsons
The primary goals in treating PD are to alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life. Treatment may also prevent disease progression.
If taking marijuana isnt feasible, there are other options available. Numerous types and combinations of conventional medications may also be used. Examples include:
- amantadine , which is used in early stages
Is Medical Marijuana An Option For Me
What’s next for a person with PD who wants to know if medical marijuana is an option? “Marijuana should never be thought of as a replacement for dopaminergic and other approved therapies for PD,” said Dr. Michael S. Okun, the Parkinson’s Foundation National Medical Advisor.
Research is still needed to determine how medical marijuana should be administered and how its long-term use can affect symptoms of PD. To keep people safe, states that legalize medical marijuana will eventually need to develop training programs for doctors and medical teams that prescribe medical marijuana. Consult your doctor to see if medical marijuana is an option for you.
The Parkinsons Foundation Consensus Statement on the Use of Medical Cannabis for Parkinsons Disease is designed to help guide the PD community in making informed decisions about using cannabis for Parkinsons. The statement is based on the input from 46 experts who attended the Foundations first-ever medical marijuana convening. Read it now.
Page reviewed by Dr. Chauncey Spears, Clinical Assistant Professor and Dr. Sydney M. Spagna, Clinical Fellow at the University of Michigan.
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The Pharmacology Of Cannabis
The two primary components of marijuana are delta-9-tetrahydrocannibinol and cannabidiol . THC and CBD act on the cannabinoid receptors type 1 and type 2 , which are primarily found throughout the nervous system and on cells of the immune system. The way that THC and CBD acts on these two receptors is different and may help explain the different effects mediated by each of these compounds. For example, THC is the psychoactive component of marijuana and causes alterations in perception and mood. CBD, on the other hand, can reduce anxiety and may have anti-inflammatory properties.
The various compounds present in different marijuana plants and their variable effects on the CB1 and CB2 receptors make cannabis studies difficult to conduct. When researchers study the effects of a medication, dosages are controlled and often set to a specific number of milligrams. When testing medical marijuana, the dosage administered can vary dramatically depending on the plant and method of administration.
What Is Parkinsons Disease
Parkinsons disease is a progressive disorder of the nervous system, and eventually, it will likely affect how someone moves, speaks and writes. The symptoms tend to start slowly and may include very slight hand tremors, or stiffness. Another one of the initial symptoms of Parkinsons in many people is something called bradykinesia, which means muscle stiffness makes it more difficult for someone to move as they did before.
The symptoms of Parkinsons are characterized as movement disorders, and these symptoms are rooted in neurology. Similar conditions include cerebral palsy and Tourette syndrome.
Its believed that there are around one million adults in the U.S. with Parkinsons and along with tremors and slowed movement, other symptoms may include a face that lacks expression.
When Parkinsons begins appearing in older patients, they often dont seek treatment because they believe its just part of the aging process.
Parkinsons disease is thought to be linked to low dopamine levels in a certain area of the brain. In people with this condition the dopamine cells have died or are dying, and when this happens, its hard for people to control their body movements and do certain things. As people progress in the disease, their dopamine levels follow the same trajectory and symptoms become more pronounced.
This disease isnt a direct cause of death in people who have it, but it isnt curable currently, and it does get worse over time.
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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 .
Current Treatments For Parkinsons Disease
There is no cure for Parkinsons disease at this time. Conventional treatment is aimed at dealing with the symptoms and making the patient as comfortable as possible. Medication is used to increase the levels of dopamine in the brain as well as to treat the movement problems associated with the disease. Antidepressants are also commonly prescribed. Brain surgery to implant an electrode deep within the brain, where movement is controlled, is also an option for advanced Parkinsons disease.
Often, treating the condition involves a complicated mix of medicines that need to be taken on a fixed schedule throughout the day. How a person with Parkinsons is treated depends on what mix of symptoms he or she has and how far along the disease has progressed. Although the medications can help control symptoms up to a point, theyre usually accompanied by a wide range of unpleasant side-effects.
In combination with medical treatments for the disease, many patients are advised to make lifestyle changes to help manage symptoms. For example, exercising regularly can help patients who are having balance problems or weakness due to the disease.
Although carbidopa/levodopa is one of the most effective medications for treating Parkinsons, its efficacy tends to diminish the longer people take it. It is also associated with some unpleasant side-effects, such as confusion and hallucinations, dyskinesia and low blood pressure.
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Results Of The Database
From a total of 228 identified articles, 114 were excluded as duplicates, 27 were excluded after title and abstract screening because they were not related to the subject . 88 articles remained for full-text review. No further relevant citations were found from weekly electronic database updates up to November 1, 2019. Finally, 14 of the 87 studies were included in this systematic review .
We could not perform a meta-analysis due to the high variability of
Sativa Or Indica For Medical Marijuana And Parkinson’s
Again, this is going to depend on you! Most people would say that indica strains are best for those with Parkinsons, as theyre known for calming the body the most. However, some hybrids and even some sativas demonstrate strong anti-tremor properties that any PD patient would love.
If youve never tried marijuana for Parkinsons before, wed recommend starting with an indica-dominant strain like GG, Granddaddy Purple, or Sundae Driver. These strains are all quite relaxing but also provide a good punch of giggliness, so youre not left in a sea of laziness, either.
What Is Parkinson’s Disease
The Mayo Clinic defined Parkinson’s Disease as “a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement.” This is caused by nerve cells in the brain breaking down to the point where they die. When these brain nerve cells die off, the levels of dopamine decrease causing unusual brain activity.
On the onset of Parkinson’s Disease, the most common change in a person is noticeable tremors or slowing of movement. The tremors are usually found in limbs even if they are not currently doing anything. Over time, the person may have changes in posture, speech, and/or writing. Usually, genes and environmental triggers can cause Parkinson’s Disease. As it becomes more difficult to perform daily activities, it may be time to consult your practitioner.
Who Is Cross Valley Health & Medicine
Cross Valley Health & Medicine is a primary care practice located in Newburgh NY, allowing for both virtual and in-person appointments. The practice has two medical providers on staff, Doctor Paul Saladino who is dual board-certified in Addiction Medicine and Internal Medicine and a Christian Plaza, who is a family nurse practitioner. Both practitioners are eager to see new patients for the following programs: Substance Abuse Treatment, Behavioral Health Management, HIV/AIDS Care Management, Primary Care, Medical Marijuana Certifications, Medication-Assisted Treatment, STD/STI Care Management, and Weight Loss Management. If you are interested in becoming a patient of Cross Valley, please click here to access our online paperwork portal. Visit us online at www.crossvalleyhealth.com or give our office a call at 845-561-7075.
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Does Medical Cannabis Reduce Parkinsons Symptoms
Parkinsons disease is largely characterised by a difficulty in maintaining fluidity of movement. The two ways this main symptom presents is with hypokinesia or dyskinesia. For those experiencing hypokinesia, movement can slow to the point that patients can have difficulty initiating movement or feel as though their bodies are frozen.
Patients that experience dyskinesia often present with tremor, irregular or clunky movements due to dysfunction in signalling related to motor skills. Dyskinesia can also occur as a side effect of conventional Parkinsons treatments. While conventional medications have proven to be effective for a large portion of patients, there are others who suffer from aggressive forms of Parkinsons or dont tolerate standard pharmaceuticals. In these cases, medicinal cannabis treatments may provide a viable alternative.
Changes to parts of the brain that control movement, as well as the lack of dopamine, can also lead to mood disturbance, muscle rigidity, pain, loss of weight and changes to appetite. Medical cannabis has been researched for its effects on some of the key symptoms of Parkinsons disease.
In cases where pharmaceutical medications fail to reduce symptoms related to movement, mood or other neurological manifestation, medical cannabis may have a role to play. However, further investigation is required as the treatment can illicit side effects in some patients, while for others, the therapy may not yield any benefit.