As CBD’s popularity grows, it has become hailed as a potential treatment for more and more ailments, mental and physical alike.
Scientists are closely monitoring the relationship between CBD and Parkinson’s disease, and CBD is looking like a very promising candidate for curbing symptoms. More research is needed before we can conclusively say that CBD treats Parkinson’s, but it certainly shows a lot of potential.
It can be difficult to see through the hype and determine if CBD is right for you, especially if you’re searching for relief from a particular ailment like Parkinson’s disease. In this guide, we’ll explain what CBD is, how it works, and how it might be beneficial for sufferers of Parkinson’s and Parkinson’s-related diseases.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a compound derived from cannabis. It belongs to a class of chemicals called cannabinoids, which have been used for centuries to relieve pain, ease anxiety, and treat a host of other ailments.
Though it is related to THC, CBD is non-psychoactive (meaning it can’t get you high), and it actively combats some of the unpleasant effects of a THC high like paranoia and anxiety.
The sale and cultivation of hemp, a member of the cannabis family from which CBD is generally derived, was only recently put under the purview of the FDA, so CBD is available for purchase in some form in all fifty states. Its exact legal status is constantly shifting as states put their own laws in place regarding its sale, purchase, and use, but for the most part, CBD is an incredibly safe substance that is widely legal in the United States.
What is Parkinson’s disease?
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurological disorder that primarily affects movement. Among the most common neurological disorders, it is a progressive, adult-onset disease that becomes more common with age. It comes as a result of the degeneration of certain neurons in the brain which produce dopamine, a neurotransmitter that plays a part in the regulation of movement and cognitive functioning.
- Uncontrollable tremors in parts of the body such as hands, legs, jaw, arms
- Muscle stiffness
- Slow, sluggish movements
- Poor coordination
Sufferers of Parkinson’s disease may also develop other symptoms in addition to these core motor symptoms, such as depression, sleep dysregulation, cognitive changes, urinary issues, and skin problems.
Generally, there is no particular cause for the onset of Parkinson’s disease, and while there is no cure, many of its symptoms can be readily managed with the right medications.
CBD oil and Parkinson’s
While the body of research regarding CBD and its efficacy as a drug is relatively small and still growing, there seems to be great promise in its role as a potential treatment for certain symptoms of Parkinson’s. This is especially true considering CBD’s lack of particularly negative side effects, which may often come as a downside to traditional courses of treatment for Parkinson’s.
A recent study from a group of Brazilian researchers tested CBD and its use as a treatment for stress-induced tremors and anxiety in patients with PD. Not only did it significantly reduce feelings of anxiety, but it also had a great impact on reducing the amount, speed, and severity of tremors caused by PD in the testing group.
A 2014 study claimed that their findings “point to a possible effect of CBD in improving quality of life measures in PD patients.” Other self-reported studies seem to demonstrate similar findings, with PD patients who use cannabis to manage symptoms indicating it as the most effective treatment for their symptoms. Additionally, research seems to indicate that CBD can aid in creating connections in the brain, which could potentially help to alleviate or repair some of the cognitive effects that may come with Parkinson’s disease or Parkinson’s disease with dementia.
A 2009 study showed that CBD had a significant impact on psychosis in Parkinson’s patients, with few-to-no adverse side effects. CBD may also have neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects that can limit the damage done to the brain that may contribute to or worsen Parkinson’s and dementia.
It is worth mentioning that most CBD research is so novel that many of these studies are relatively small-scale, and there is not an extensive amount of them, which leaves them open for some degree of criticism. As the research grows, it will become more and more the extent to which CBD can really impact the symptoms of Parkinson’s in a way that may rival traditional courses of medication.
In spite of this, there is some precedence in using CBD as a real clinical treatment for neurological diseases. The only FDA approved CBD-based medication is Epidiolex, which has proven to be an effective treatment for epileptic seizures. While the root causes of epilepsy and Parkinsonism & related disorders are not exactly the same, it indicates the value of CBD and other cannabinoids as legitimate medical treatments and could pave the way for more research into their efficacy.
Which CBD oil is best for Parkinson’s disease?
As always, consult a doctor before taking a new supplement such as CBD, as it may have unwanted interactions with drugs you may be taking in order to combat the symptoms of Parkinson’s.
If you’re thinking about beginning a course of CBD oil for Parkinson’s disease, consider taking a CBD oil with a low THC content in order to limit the possibility of getting “high” — while CBD itself cannot get you high, many CBD products are processed in a way that leaves in a certain percentage of THC in order for users to gain the benefits of the “entourage effect.” It is unlikely that you’ll feel high when taking most CBD products, but symptoms of paranoia or anxiety that can sometimes appear when using THC may be unpleasant to new users.
Broad-spectrum CBD and CBD isolate both contain no THC at all due to particular distillation tactics. If these types of CBD are unavailable, you may also want to try hemp-derived CBD, which legally contains no more than 0.3% THC.
Make certain to buy from a reputable seller, as well. The CBD industry is still not federally regulated, which can lead to problems with dishonest labeling and low-quality products. CBD Facilitator offers a directory of CBD products for sale online, connecting you with trustworthy sellers from all over the United States. There you can find a variety of CBD products, whether they be oils, pills, ointments, or powders.
Consider also that the best CBD oil for Parkinson’s disease can depend in part on your particular symptoms. If you struggle the most with insomnia, you can get a CBD oil that increases drowsiness. If you struggle the most with tremors or anxiety, you can get a CBD oil that focuses on relaxing the muscles.
When considering what aspects to prioritize, there are a few things you are likely taking into account: price, quality, potency.
- Price: Many reputable CBD companies are reasonably priced. You don’t have to sacrifice quality for a well-priced product.
- Quality: If you are the most concerned with the quality of your CBD, you might be spending a little bit more. Again, you don’t have to sacrifice quality for price, but in some cases companies that go through extra testing and take extra time curating their product will price a bit higher. Know what kind of quality you are looking for and keep that in mind as you research.
- Potency: CBD ranges in type. For example, you can purchase CBD isolate (which means the CBD is as purified as possible), broad-spectrum CBD (which means it has more parts of the flower in the product), or full-spectrum CBD (which means it has a bit of THC mixed in). Understand what type of CBD you are looking for to best suit your needs.
Can CBD oil help with shaky hands?
CBD oil can help with shaky hands. As a generalized relaxer, CBD is able to assist with muscular tremors to help ease any repetitive motion.
Because there are so few side effects to CBD, and because it is nearly impossible to reach toxic levels, CBD is a great option to simply try out and see how it works for you. It will interact differently with everyone’s body, but with so few risks and so much to gain, it is certainly worth a try.
How much CBD does it take to help with tremors?
To get the best possible outcome with CBD, you should follow the directed dosage as closely as possible. If you have never tried CBD before, make sure to start with the lowest dosage and then work your way up to a higher dosage if it turns out to help with the issues you face.
CBD varies in type, so finding the CBD that is right for you is important before you consider taking the full amount of it. Likewise, it is important to start small so that you can properly evaluate how your body is reacting to the CBD.
For tremors, we recommend CBD oil for a few reasons.
- With a CBD oil dropper it is easier to measure out your dosage
- CBD oil is accessible and easy to use
- CBD oil comes in full-spectrum, meaning trace amounts of THC are included in the oil in order to complement the CBD and make it more potent. For treating more serious symptoms, full-spectrum oil may have the greatest results
- With many different flavors, it’s easy to find an oil that you like.
- CBD oil has a high bioavailability, but it will not burn your throat or cause any respiratory problems like the inhalation method.
Current research on CBD and Parkinson's
To be clear, CBD cannot cure Parkinson’s disease. However, it can help curb some of the common side effects of Parkinson’s disease.
For example, CBD can help diminish symptoms of anxiety, insomnia, and muscle fatigue or pain. These are all common side effects of Parkinson’s disease, which is why researchers are continuously evaluating the relationship between CBD and Parkinson’s disease.
CBD Parkinson's clinical trials
When it comes to Parkinson’s disease, it is paramount to try to increase the quality of life as much as possible. However, clinical trials for CBD and Parkinson’s disease have been slow to develop. While many scientists infer that findings suggest CBD can be compatible for those experiencing symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, the underregulation of the market is slowing down clinical trials.
The FDA is doing what they can to make clinical trials possible, especially given how widespread Parkinson’s disease is and how many people are in dire need of symptom relief. That’s why in 2015 the FDA did make it easier for researchers to conduct clinical trials, and they continue to do so in the hopes that CBD can make a huge impact in the quality of life of Parkinson’s disease patients.
Dosage of CBD for Parkinson's
Generally, it is good practice to start with a low dosage (10-15mg) of CBD before you try more. This is because CBD will affect individuals slightly differently, and it is important to understand your personal relationship with CBD before you go for a higher dosage.
Likewise, it can be a good idea to ask your doctor about drug interactions. Individuals with Parkinson’s disease are often required to take other medication, and therefore can be susceptible to other roadblocks with drug interactions.
Typically, CBD is quite safe in relation to other medications. That said, it is not recommended that CBD be mixed with alcohol or any other medication that increases drowsiness. If you are taking CBD, it is recommended that you do not drive.
Parkinson’s is a complicated condition, and there is still further research required to definitively say that CBD works as an effective treatment against Parkinson’s. With that being said, there is evidence to suggest that CBD can help treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s.
This may lead to a better quality of life for many people who have Parkinson’s looking for an easier time managing their symptoms.
CBD can specifically help with symptoms like tremors and pain or inflammation, and also anxiety or trouble sleeping.
The best CBD oil for Parkinson’s will most likely be full spectrum CBD oil. We go more in depth about choosing the best oil for you above.
For more information and product recommendations, visit our CBD Facilitator directory for trusted assistance.