For those who have received a Parkinson’s disease diagnosis as well as their families and loved ones, it can be a frightening time. Parkinson’s patients frequently inquire about alternative therapies that can be used in addition to the conventional ones that their doctors recommend.
What is Parkinsonâs Disease?
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological disease that eventually affects a person’s ability to move, speak, and write. The disease’s symptoms develop extremely gradually and eventually cause mild hand tremors or stiffness. Bradykinesia, or muscle stiffness, is another symptom that can make it difficult for people to move.
Parkinson’s symptoms are characterized by neurologically based movement abnormalities. The symptoms of Tourette syndrome and cerebral palsy are comparable. Parkinson’s disease causes tremors and delayed movement in about one million adults in the US. Older patients may neglect to seek therapy when Parkinson’s symptoms appear because they think it’s just a natural part of being older.
Low levels of dopamine in specific regions of the brain are thought to be a contributing factor to Parkinson’s disease. Dopamine cells in those with this illness have died or are dying. People find it difficult to control their bodily motions and perform specific tasks when this occurs. Dopamine levels rise in line with the progression of Parkinson’s disease, which causes the symptoms to worsen.
Because Parkinson’s is an incurable condition, extensive research has been done on possible treatments. This is the situation where medical marijuana has gained a lot of attention.
Does Medical Cannabis Help Parkinsonâs Disease?
Medical marijuana has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and research has shown this can help prevent neuron damage. This is essential with Parkinsonâs 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 Parkinsonâs.
Other benefits of medical cannabis can include pain management that can help with problems such as sleeping and nausea.
Role of Cannabinoid Receptors
Our bodies naturally produce cannabinoids that attach to cannabinoid receptors throughout the brain and body to regulate several functions, including mood, sleep, and appetite. Cannabinoid receptors, which function like switches outside of cells and, when engaged, cause a biological reaction inside of a cell, come in two primary varieties: The ‘highs’ associated with cannabis usage are produced by CB1 receptors in the brain, which react to THC; CB2 receptors are mostly present on immune system cells and brain cells thought to be involved in pain alleviation.
The basal ganglia region of the brain, which is home to dopamine-producing neurons and is known to be involved in Parkinson’s movement symptoms, has concentrations of cannabinoid receptors.
Therefore, it has been hypothesized by researchers that a substance like cannabis, which interacts with cannabinoid receptors in a region of the brain that is intimately connected to Parkinson’s, may ameliorate the symptoms of the disease.
Parkinson’s patients who use medical marijuana may experience additional advantages, such as symptom alleviation for:
- Lack of sleep
How to Use Cannabis for Parkinsonâs Disease?
There are numerous applications for medical marijuana. Speak with your doctor about the finest products and applications for your unique situation if you’re thinking about using medical marijuana to treat Parkinson’s symptoms.
A few varieties of medical marijuana are:
- Tinctures Capsules
- Dermal patches
- Dermal sprays
Cannabis may be used as a Parkinson’s treatment in the future, but for now, we need clear proof of its advantages to determine the best formulations, dosages, side effects, drug interactions, and potential long-term side effects.