By Emily Ledger
It seems that there are new studies everyday exploring the effects of CBD on all kinds of illnesses and disorders. Whilst there is a catalogue of positive research on the effects of CBD on mental disorders like Anxiety and Depression, you might wonder if there are any benefits to using it to treat physical illnesses. We look at whether there are any benefits to using CBD to treat Parkinson’s?
How does Parkinson’s affect the brain and body?
Parkinson’s disease affects certain nerve cells in the brain, causing them to break down or die. The loss of neurons that create Dopamine, is the cause of many of the symptoms of the disease. Symptoms of Parkinson’s can include tremors, stiffness and loss of movement.
Other symptoms associated with Parkinson’s may include dementia, fatigue, disturbed sleep, and depression.
CBD and Parkinson’s
The most researched and approved effect of CBD is its interaction with CB2 receptors. These receptors regulate the inflammation of areas of the brain caused by Parkinson’s. Some studies have shown that when used in this way, CBD can help to reduce damage caused by the disease.
Further research is under way to consider the relationship between CBD and the G-coupled protein receptor called ‘GPR6’. GPR6 is often referred to as an “orphan receptor” as researchers have yet to find the primary compound that binds to this receptor.
These studies are showing that neurotransmitters such as dopamine are increased when GPR6 is depleted. These findings could suggest that CBD can treat diseases that affect the production of dopamine in the brain and in turn, consequent impairment of motor control; such as Parkinson’s.
Is there any evidence?
In a survey of cannabis use in 2004 at the Prague Movement Disorder Centre in the Czech Republic, 45 percent of respondents reported improvement in PD motor symptoms. Meanwhile CBD itself is known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-nausea, and anti-seizure effects among other benefits.
Whilst studies into CBD and medical marijuana to treat Parkinson’s are still underway, PD patients indicate that cannabinoid acids can reduce the motor symptoms of PD due to the dopamine increase in the brain.
Other things to know
Studies suggest that the physical manifestations of Parkinson’s are actually late stages of an evolving multi-system disorder. The National Parkinson’s Foundation suggest that motor symptoms of Parkinson’s (PD) only begin to manifest when the majority of the brain’s dopamine-producing cells are already damaged. Therefore, the earlier PD is diagnosed the higher the chances are of slowing the progression of the disease.