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Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurological condition that results in tremors, cramps, muscle rigidity and stiffness, and sluggish, clumsy movement. The majority of people who are affected by PD are middle-aged and older adults. Dopamine insufficiency and basal ganglia degeneration are both linked to PD.
What is Parkinsonâs Disease?
Parkinson’s, a progressive neurological condition that impairs the body’s ability to regulate itself, is characterized by tremors, slow movement, stiff and inflexible muscles, and balance problems. Parkinson’s disease is brought on by a loss of nerve cells in the Substantia nigra region of the brain, which lowers the brain’s ability to produce dopamine.
Parkinson’s disease has no known cause, while genetic and environmental factors may play a role. Parkinson’s disease progression may potentially be influenced by head injuries. In the US, there are about 1 million Parkinson’s patients, and every year, 60,000 new cases are identified. Parkinson’s disease usually occurs in adults 60 years of age or older, while it can sometimes strike those who are younger.
Current Treatments Available for Parkinson’s Disease
The following are current treatments for PD:
- Supportive therapies like physical and occupational therapy (OT).
- Levodopa, dopamine agonists, and antipsychotic drugs are examples of medications to boost dopamine and/or treat the symptoms of PD.
- In some cases, brain surgery is required.
How Can Medical Cannabis Be Beneficial?
THC and CBD in cannabis enhance the generation of dopamine, which could help with Parkinson’s. Additionally, marijuana helps calm tense, rigid muscles and assists in minimizing any trembling. Since some prescription antipsychotics may make Parkinson’s disease worse, medical cannabis, in particular CBD, may help decrease the need for antipsychotic medication. Unfortunately, even though many patients claim that THC is helpful, care must be taken when using it because Parkinson’s patients frequently experience memory problems.
Benefits of Using Cannabis For Parkinsonâs Disease
The following are the pros of using cannabis to treat PD:
- Cannabis may delay the progression of bradykinesia (PD-related slowness, shaking, and irregular bodily movements).
- Improve sleep quality for Parkinson’s patients.
- Since CBD is neuroprotective, it can help stop further brain degeneration and protect against hydroxydopamine toxicity.
- Similar to MS and epilepsy, cannabis can help ease tremors and spasticity.
- Parkinson’s disease and dementia are frequently related, and CBD may help with both conditions.
- When other treatments are ineffective or unavailable, cannabis may be useful.
- Dopamine may be produced more effectively by cannabinoids, which may assist Parkinson’s patients to better control their movement.
What Is The Most Effective Way To Use Cannabis For Parkinson’s?
Talk with your doctor first if you’re considering using cannabis to treat your Parkinson’s symptoms.
There is no standard cannabis dosage for Parkinson’s, thus it’s advisable to stay on the side of caution:
- Start with a small dose and gradually increase it over a few days or weeks.
- For edibles, drinks, and tinctures, start with 1 mg to 2.5 mg of THC.
- When using cannabis that has been smoked or vaporized, take one puff and wait 15 minutes before taking another.
- Look for inhalable products with a low THC contentâeither a few milligrams or a low percentage.
- Another suggestion is to look for products that have a healthy balance of cannabidiol (CBD) to THC. This might lessen negative side effects.
Indica or sativa for Parkinsonâs disease?
Sativa strains offer energetic qualities that make them ideal for daytime use, but they also have potent intellectual effects. On the other hand, cannabis indica has sedative properties that make it a favorite among those who have trouble sleeping. These strains are typically stronger than sativas and induce feelings of relaxation, sleep, and extreme hunger. Typically, indica strains are advised for use at night.
But, when treating Parkinson’s disease, Indica strains are the first recommendation because of their sedative and analgesic effects as well as the likelihood that they will help in sleep.
Talk with your healthcare provider before using cannabis to treat your Parkinson’s disease symptoms. To be on the safer side and to avoid any negative side effects, start with a small amount of THC and seek out products that contain a good combination of THC and CBD.