Medical cannabis has shown to cure cancer, stop debilitating seizures in their tracks, and offer countless individuals a life free from chronic pain. While clinical studies on cannabis for various conditions is limited due to its legal status, there have been some trials that show its efficiency in treating a host of other medical problems. One of these is Parkinson’s Disease.
What is Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s Disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that negatively impacts dopamine-producing neurons in the brain. Dopamine has a huge role in muscle movement, as well as some physical and though processes. Lose the amount of dopamine your body naturally produces from Parkinson’s, and you’re likely to face the following symptoms:
- Shaking of the hands
- Loss of balance
- Rigid muscles that are hard to move
- Muscle spasms
- Memory loss
- Problems with sleep
- Loss of cognitive function with progression of the condition
The effects of Parkinson’s typically develop gradually. A slight tremor here, a loss of balance there. Parkinson’s however, is progressive. And symptoms typically get much worse over time.
Treating Parkinson’s Disease is typically done through a cocktail of different medications. They work to keep dopamine production in the brain from deteriorating completely, but do little to slow the progression of Parkinson’s. For people that suffer from Parkinson’s, there is no cure.
Medical Marijuana Might Help Patients with Parkinson’s Improve Their Quality of Life
A 2016 review however, found that medical marijuana could be effective to enhance the quality of life of patients suffering from the disease. In the review, it was determined that cannabinoids naturally present in cannabis may work in synergy to prevent the loss of dopamine Parkinson’s disease causes. Researchers also found that medical marijuana used for Parkinson’s might also help counteract the deterioration of brain cells.
For people with Parkinson’s, the brain has essentially lost the cells it needs to communicate to the body how to move their limbs. Over time, they lose more and more control, their quality of life devastatingly diminished.
Cannabis however, has shown to help. It was first discovered to help control symptoms of Parkinson’s in the 19th century. Cannabis oil tinctures were prescribed to patients to ease the relentless trembling associated with the condition. And it worked. Rather well, in fact.
In the modern medical world, observational studies of medical marijuana for Parkinson’s Disease have shown the herb to have positive results. Check out this video that clearly demonstrates how effective cannabis can actually be:
Further Research Necessary to Understand Effects of Medical Marijuana on Parkinson’s Disease
As with the case of several conditions, using medical marijuana for Parkinson’s disease needs further research. This isn’t likely to happen however, until cannabis is removed from the list of the DEA’s dangerous substances. In order to be further studied in the breadth necessary to determine its effects, it must reclassified from a Schedule I substance.
Those who suffer from the disease however, have found unprecedented relief in what cannabis can offer. According to one patient who finds relief with medical marijuana:
“The shaking got so bad, I had to start taking a pill called Carbidopa / Levodopa. I could only take that so much because if I over medicate, I’ll have hallucinations. In order to relax more during the periods that I can’t take it, I medicate with marijuana. Pot gets rid of nausea; the throwing-up feeling. And I’m able to handle those medicines, too. I think it helps me. It gives me a better attitude. I don’t feel like a victim.”