Parkinson's & CBD Research Overview
CBD has quickly grown into a massive industry, in part, thanks to the wide range of conditions it's been shown to improve. That said, we're only just starting to uncover everything there is to know about the impact of CBD. For instance, we now believe that CBD could be an effective part of Parkinson's disease treatment strategies.
Parkinson's disease is associated with neurodegeneration which results in less control over movement. CBD has been repeatedly shown to have potent neuroprotective benefits which studies show could benefit those dealing with Parkinson's. One report, called Effects of cannabidiol in the treatment of patients with Parkinson's disease: an exploratory double-blind trial* found ample evidence backing CBD as protecting against neurological degeneration, like that associated with Parkinson's.
Other studies have reached similar conclusions. Cannabinoids provide neuroprotection against 6-hydroxydopamine toxicity in vivo and in vitro: relevance to Parkinson's disease* showed CBD could protect against both acute and chronic neurodegeneration. Their data showed CBD increased the survival rate of brain cells after exposure to substances associated with Parkinson's, such as 6-hydroxydopamine.
But other researchers have started to understand why CBD provides this distinct neuroprotective benefit. Evaluation of the neuroprotective effect of cannabinoids in a rat model of Parkinson's disease: importance of antioxidant and cannabinoid receptor-independent properties* found that CBD provides this benefit thanks to an antioxidant effect. While they believe it must be studied more thoroughly, the team believes it could soon present a viable addition to Parkinson's treatment plans.
As such, other researchers have spent time trying to understand the nature of this antioxidant effect better. A report called, Prospects for cannabinoid therapies in basal ganglia disorders* concluded activation of the CB2 receptor could be central to this impact. Researchers observed significant neuroprotective properties which need to be studied further.
Other studies have looked deeper into the relationship between the CB1 and CB2 receptors and what it means for people dealing with Parkinson's. A report called Symptom-relieving and neuroprotective effects of the phytocannabinoid Δ⁹-THCV in animal models of Parkinson's disease* showed activation of CB1, while blocking CB2, resulted in a slower progression of conditions such as Parkinson's.
While we still don't know enough about the relationship between CBD and Parkinson's, what evidence we do have is quite promising. In fact, Therapeutic potential of cannabinoids in CNS disease* found that CBD can counteract the oxidative damage resulting from several CNS disorders, including Parkinson's.
But what does all this mean for those dealing with Parkinson's disease in their everyday lives? Well, there is no shortage of evidence suggesting CBD can help ease some of the debilitating symptoms of Parkinson's. Cannabidiol for the treatment of psychosis in Parkinson's disease* was a report which found that CBD can help reduce the psychosis which is sometimes known to accompany conditions like Parkinson's.
But one of the most significant ways CBD could one day improve the lives of those with Parkinson's is by reducing the tremors which characterize this disease. Cannabinoids control spasticity and tremor in a multiple sclerosis model* was able to show significant evidence that CBD can reduce both the strength and frequency of muscle tremors in lab mice. Once again, the CB1 and CB2 receptors were believed to be the primary culprit behind this effect, warranting further study.
Another common symptom of those living with Parkinson's is stiff and inflamed joints. Luckily, CBD has also been shown to be an incredibly powerful anti-inflammatory medication by reports such as Arthritis and cannabinoids: HU‐210 and Win‐55,212–2 prevent IL‐1 α‐induced matrix degradation in bovine articular chondrocytes in‐vitro.* The team concluded a regular CBD regimen could significantly reduce joint damage via the strengthening of cartilage.
Finally, as with many debilitating conditions, trouble sleeping can often be a significant problem for people with Parkinson's disease. However, many researchers are optimistic about the ability of CBD to improve REM sleep. One such report is called Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Sleep: a Review of the Literature*, which not only found CBD improves sleep, but it can also reduce daytime sleepiness as well.