Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is concentrated cannabis extract made from marijuana or hemp that has been bred to be high in CBD content and a low THC. Today, it is used to treat a number of ailments including, cancer, asthma, diabetes, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and Parkinson’s disease (PD), among other conditions. Clinical studies into the efficacy of cannabis in treating PD and its symptoms have demonstrated that cannabinoids can slow the progress of the disease but not stop it or serve as a possible cure. Parkinson’s patients can also experience complications with the disease, including aspiration pneumonia, which is one of the leading causes of death in PD. There is no research to show that CBD oil can directly treat aspiration pneumonia directly, but it could perhaps treat some of the symptoms of the complication.
Parkinson’s Disease and Aspiration Pneumonia
Annually, some 60,000 new cases of Parkinson’s disease (PD) are being diagnosed, with no cure on the horizon. It is a slow and chronic neurodegenerative brain disorder in which the dopamine levels in the brain diminishes, affecting the ability to regulate movement and coordination, body and emotions. The disorder is usually accompanied by symptoms such as tremor, slow movement, stiffness of limbs, depression, fatigue, but PD patients experience different symptoms. PD is not fatal and patients can live for a long time with the disease, however, complications can emerge that can cause early death. One such complication is dysphagia, which can manifest at any stage of the disease, and is characterized by difficulty swallowing. Dysphagia can range from mild to severe, and compromise swallowing, causing food to become stuck in the esophagus. If it worsens as the disease progress, food or liquids could get into the lungs leading to aspiration pneumonia, which is one of the leading causes of death in patients with Parkinson’s disease. This is an acute inflammation of the bronchioles that leads to difficulty breathing, fatigue, and chest pain, along with other symptoms. Could CBD oil help to treat Parkinson’s Disease-related aspiration pneumonia?
Cannabinoids and Parkinson’s Disease-related Aspiration Pneumonia
Studies have revealed that CBD could provide neuroprotective treatment that would improve the quality of life and wellbeing of PD patients. Furthermore, PD patients suffering from could also improve their psychotic symptoms, and new research is pointing to CBD as potentially beneficial in alleviating gastrointestinal issues in these patients as well. Still, could CBD go further and have a positive impact on the PD complication-aspiration pneumonia? Lacking is research to support such a notion, but studies suggest that different cannabinoids could possibly treat symptoms such as fatigue, pain, and breathing problems (all of which are associated with Parkinson’s Disease-related aspiration pneumonia) in other conditions.
Marijuana’s THC component is believed to have a dilating effect on the human airway and does not cause central respiratory depression. Since difficulty breathing is one of the symptoms of aspiration pneumonia, research into how THC could potential offer therapeutic benefits and aid in breathing is not far-fetched. Fatigue is also another symptom of aspiration pneumonia that leaves patients feeling as though they have no energy. While clinical evidence is lacking to support a direct link between cannabinoids improving fatigue, studies suggest that CBD could improve sleep, which could lead to enhanced levels of freshness in patients. Also, chest pain is common in patients with aspiration pneumonia, and CBD is long known for its pain relieving properties for it pain and inflammation relieving properties. CBD alleviates pain by impacting the body’s endocannabinoid system, which controls pain and inflammation. CBD could serve as a natural pain killer and an alternative to pharmaceutical narcotic painkillers, eliminating the risk of an overdose or misuse of the drug. It could perhaps give the patient the opportunity to rest without pain.
It is clear that there is a lack of scientific evidence to show that CBD can have a positive impact on the treatment of Parkinson Disease-related aspiration pneumonia. While CBD has been shown to have the capacity to slow the progress of Parkinson’s disease and improve symptoms associated with the disease, there is a long way to go in showing any solid relationship between CBD and the PD complication-aspiration pneumonia. Some of the symptoms of aspiration pneumonia are those associated with other forms of disorders that CBD has shown to have a positive effect in relieving. However, it is yet to be seen how CBD could directly impact those symptoms in aspiration pneumonia in PD patients.