Parkinson’s Disease is a cruel disease, and currently medication is only available to manage symptoms, rather than attack the disease itself or shut down it’s progress on the brain. New studies show that Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, could be instrumental in helping the fight against Parkinson’s Disease, more effectively than just treating the symptoms.
What is Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s disease is a chronic brain disorder. It is progressive, so will go on and on, and won’t stop killing off brain cells – or o use the medical term, nerve cells. It causes these cells to stop functioning properly as well as die. The early symptoms of the disease are easy overlook, or explain away, as it’s only a minor tremor, and there are so many reasons we could assume for our hands shaking – we’re cold, we’re tired, we’re nervous, we’re hungry, that it’s easy to overlook these initial indicators at first. As time goes on, the tremors develop, until the whole body is stiff, and can only move slowly. It is an awful condition to live with, and can cause a lot of stress and heartache to the person suffering, as well as their loved ones who may need to become full time carers of the victim of the disease.
How Can CBD Help?
CBD is a component of cannabis, which has unfortunately garnered an unsavoury reputation, thanks to irresponsible growing and using practices. While many hear the word cannabis, and immediately think of a stoner, high and buzzed, experiencing paranoia and the munchies, what they are actually thinking of are the effects of THC, a different component in cannabis. As this part causes the high which many users seek, amoral cannabis farms have produced plants with increasingly high levels of THC, and less CBD, in order to provide a more intense experience, regardless of the dangers. CBD is actually counter-balances these effects, and strains are now being developed by scientists containing higher levels of CBD, and reducing the THC, thus creating a plant for medicine, not recreation. There is no high, it’s an appetite suppressant, and anti-stress agent, with a whole host of legitimate medical uses. CBD is practically risk free, is calming, and is being explored as a treatment option for everything from diabetes to epilepsy, and there are promising studies showing it would also work on Parkinson’s.
How would CBD treat Parkinson’s?
New medical research has revealed that cannabis, or more particularly the Cannabidiol component of cannabis, known as CBD, could help treat Parkinson’s. Unlike other medication, it wouldn’t just manage symptoms, but would actually slow down thee progression of the disease itself. It would do this by providing neuro-protective effects. To put it simply, Parkinson’s symptoms begin when dopamine, a chemical messenger in your brain, levels decrease, and become too low. The Journal of Psychopharmacology recently published the results of a study which explored the effect of CBD on Parkinson’s, with promising results. It is thought that CBD will significantly slow down the degeneration of cells, thus slowing down the reduction of dopamine, and will increase overall neuron health. While more research needs to be done, there are already signs indicting that CBD would slow down the progression of the disease, while there are signs that it would work in dealing with the symptoms also. The anti-stress, anti-depressant, and anti-psychotic agents that have been confirmed to be found in cannabis could improve the emotional effects of the disease, as well as helping with sleep and relieving some motor symptoms. Overall, the quality of life of the patient could vastly improve, both emotionally and physically.
CBD is a natural component of a plant, and while that plant has been modified over the years to satisfy recreational pursuits, there’s no reason why it can’t now be developed as a medical marvel, and wonder cure to a multitude of conditions, including Parkinson’s. It is natural, and when THC is less than 0.3% of the plant, it’s actually considered hemp, which is generally legal and easier to access. As this is not a synthetic drug, it can’t be patented by a pharmaceutical company, and so will remain a cost effective option.
It’s true that more research needs to be done in order to consider CBD alone in slowing down the onset of Parkinson’s, however it should already be considered a viable option for dealing with the symptoms of this disease.