Can CBD Help For Parkinson’s Disease?

CBD continues to capture the interests of consumers and scientists alike. 

Gone are the days of limiting CBD use to minor inconveniences – CBD has graduated from hippie healing to holistic healthcare. 

Ongoing research analyzes CBD’s effect on medical conditions that range from minor pain to Parkinson’s disease (PD). 

Though Parkinson’s is a more novel and complex disease, it is one more that CBD has the potential to help. 

Here’s a brief introduction to CBD and PD. 

What is Parkinson’s Disease? 

Parkinson’s disease is a neurological, neurodegenerative disorder primarily characterized by disruption in motor functions. 

Adverse changes in motor function and ability include hand tremors or shaking and stiff arms, legs, or torso, and imbalance or frequent falls. 

Parkinson’s can progress to include difficulty in blinking, swallowing, walking, and other range of motion. 

Regardless of onset and progression, other symptoms can present at any point during the development of Parkinson’s disease.  

These symptoms include seborrheic dermatitis, depression, anxiety, psychosis, memory impairment, and active sleeping habits. 

What is CBD? 

CBD is a phytocannabinoid, a chemical compound found in the cannabis Sativa plant. 

For decades CBD has been praised for its medicinal effects and benefits and is used by many to aid pain, inflammation, sleeplessness, anxiety, and stress.

More recently, CBD has made its debut in the world of advanced medicine.

Studies have supported the consideration of incorporating CBD into cancer treatment, and its use in cancer pain relief and other symptom alleviation and have already been approved for seizure disorder medication. 

Research continues to examine the potential health benefits of CBD, making for a promising potential in helping target other diseases and disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease. 

Neurodegenerative Properties 

The neurodegenerative aspect of Parkinson’s disease means that the nervous system is deteriorating. 

This includes the nerve cells found in your brain. 

In particular, when this occurs in Parkinson’s disease, the brain cells, and the nervous system slowly cease to function and then die. 

Currently, very little is known about the causes of Parkinson’s. 

Though treatments are intended to increase comfort and stability for those afflicted, means to delay disease progression and the discovery of a cure are not present. 

What scientists do know is that Parkinson’s neurodegeneration is localized to neurons responsible for dopamine production

The nervous system and dopamine are two critical aspects of Parkinson’s Disease that make CBD a prime candidate for PD studies. 

How Can CBD Help Parkinson’s Disease?

The way that CBD works in our bodies to mitigate inflammation, reduce anxiety, or provide us any of the relief we are looking for, is the reason why CBD could potentially affect Parkinson’s. 

CBD is processed by the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a biological network inside your body that modulates homeostasis. 

Homeostasis is the process of regulating conditions of the body. 

This includes monitoring immunity, appetite, sleep, pain, and psychological states, among other survivalist functions. 

In maintaining internal balance, the ECS facilitates communication between your body’s muscles and organs, as well as the central nervous system. 

Everyone’s body comes with its own set of naturally-occurring endocannabinoid molecules and receptors. 

When you take CBD, our endocannabinoid receptors meet with the cannabinoid receptors we absorb into our bloodstream, binding together. 

Both endocannabinoid receptors and cannabinoid receptors are tiny communication beacons, emitting cell singles as they travel along the ECS communication pathways. 

Two specific types of CBD receptors, called CBD1 receptors, and CBD2 receptors, are responsible for translation and transmitting pain and sensation data. 

CBD1 receptors are located throughout the central nervous system and the brain. 

When cannabinoid receptors encounter endocannabinoid receptors, they can inhibit physiological processing, altering our bodies’ reactions to various conditions. 

Cannabinoid receptors can change our responses to pain, discomfort, and other sensory inputs- this is why CBD is favored as a healing medicinal. 

CBD’s ability to intercept traditional biological reflexes in addition to involvement in the CNS and the brain is the equation that places CBD in the lineup for PD research. 

Research suggests that Parkinson’s disease manipulates the ECS and that a focus on the ECS in PD treatment may reduce dopamine neuron depletion, inflammation, and symptoms associated with the disease. 

Further scientific inquiry finds that CBD may play a part in dopamine nerve communication, elevating dopamine and limiting inflammatory molecules. 

Regardless of CBD’s ability to help prevent Parkinson’s disease from forming or spreading, it has been shown to be an option for Parkinson’s pain management. 

Parkinson’s and Pain  

The further a PD patient’s neurodegeneration progresses, the less motor functionality they have. 

As motor function continues to cease, changes in muscles, muscle and bone alignment, and posture can cause painful or uncomfortable structures throughout the body.

The increase in stumbles, falls, and other accidents experienced by people with Parkinson’s disease can further the risk of pain and discomfort

Other symptoms such as body aches, tingling, and numbness are also common side effects of PD. 

The pain-targeting cannabinoids in CBD could be taken to help ease some of these side effects and make PD patients more comfortable. 

CBD and Sleep For Those Suffering From Parkinson’s

Difficulty falling asleep, sleeping peacefully, and staying asleep are common among those fighting Parkinson’s Disease and are often accompanied by active, powerful dreams and nightmares. 

Second to pain and inflammation is CBD’s popularity as a sleep aid. 

CBD can assist with insomnia and curb sleeplessness, but cannabis products are also known for their dream-diminishing effects. 

CBD may assist with bringing patients a better night’s rest. 

Psychosis and Tremors Cause by Parkinson’s

The most intriguing and limited potential for CBD stems from the relatively new research on CBD’s ability to curb Parkinson ’s-induced psychosis and tremors

Tremors are shakes caused by uncontrollable muscle movements. 

They can cause everyday mobile tasks, such as holding or gripping, to become problematic. 

Psychosis symptoms include hallucinations – seeing things that aren’t there. 

Minimals studies suggest that CBD could help limit both of these symptoms. 

Though there isn’t much data available at this time, initial, entry-level research gives hope for advanced investigation in the future.  

How Do I Use CBD for Parkinson’s Disease? 

When using CBD for Parkinson’s disease, patients should consider taking it sublingually or applying it topically.

What does this mean? 

Sublingual absorption is a method of CBD consumption that involves dropping CBD oil or tinctures under your tongue. 

Once the CBD has been dispensed, a user holds the oil under their tongue for approximately 30 seconds and then swallows. 

Sublingual absorption is considered the most effective way to take CBD, so it is always an excellent option for pain relief. 

The initial intake of CBD through the cells in your mouth expedites CBD travel to your bloodstream, causing an immediate and potent effect.

Swallowing the rest of the CBD sends it to your digestive system, where it is processed and broken down.

This secondary dosage has its own onset, providing another wave of effects to be expensed roughly two hours later. 

Swallowing isn’t always an option for people with Parkinson’s disease, though. 

When this is the case, CBD can be applied topically. 

Topical or transdermal application of CBD is frequently used to treat specific points of pain. 

CBD’s use in other muscle-related inflammation such as arthritis and neuropathic symptoms of nerve damage, such as numbness or weakness, lends insight to the benefits it could have for signs of PD. 

Topical CBD provides localized targeting for pain, swelling, inflammation, easy dosage adjustments, and consistent absorption. 

This method may take longer as the CBD enters your ECS through the skin but has increased bioavailability and longer effect durations than other consumption options. 

Topical CBD is available in lotions, balms, salves, and various other products available online. 

CBD has great neuroprotective potential and could make a difference in the way Parkinson’s patients receive treatment. 

We may not completely understand the relationship between CBD and PD, but we know that the current findings give research a reason to continue moving forward. 


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Jack Studebaker

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