Larry and Elizabeth arrive in San Diego and visit a doctor who gives him a prescription for medical marijuana. At this point, Larry’s symptoms are pronounced – he has difficulty walking and physically suffers, despite the 20 pills he takes each day.
The couple visits a marijuana dispensary and gets $40 worth of therapeutic cannabis. Elizabeth mentions that one of Larry’s orders costs $3,000 each time.
Afterwards, a Parkinson patient visits Larry and gives him cannabis oil. At this point, Larry’s symptoms are pronounced, he has difficulty speaking and is physically in pain trying to control his movements.
An amazing transformation using a drop of cannabis oil.
Only minutes after taking a drop of cannabis oil under his tongue, Larry’s body relaxes completely – his tremors stop, he can speak as usual, and his hands are steady.
Over the past ten years, we have seen an increase in the popularity and use of cannabis for recreational and medical purposes. A growing body of research is underway, mainly to test medical claims about cannabis and its active chemical compounds. One of these compounds is cannabidiol or CBD for short. CBD is considered to have a wide range of potential medical applications, one of these applications being an aid to the symptoms related to Parkinson’s Disease as elaborated in this article.
CBD is one of the hundred active cannabinoids found in cannabis and represents 40% of the plant’s extract. One of the main reasons behind the study of the medical properties of CBD is that, unlike the more popular cannabinoid THC, it is not psychoactive. Simply put, CBD does not hover, which is suitable for medical treatments, because it is preferred that they have a minimum of side effects. Studies suggest that even at high doses, CBD is still well tolerated and safe. Some of the medical properties for which CBD is appreciated are: reduction of nausea, fight against anxiety and depression, fight against tumors and cancer cells and so on. Unfortunately, most of the evidence comes from tests on animals, because very few studies have been conducted on humans. Also, the CBD remains illegal in many parts of the world, demonstrating how vital it is to do more research on CBD and its effects on human health and disease.
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive degenerative disease of the central nervous system. It mainly affects motor activity and worsens with time. As the disease progresses, symptoms usually arrive slowly over time. The symptoms can be divided into three groups: primary motor symptoms, secondary motor symptoms and non-motor symptoms. Primary motor symptoms are those that occur early in the illness, such as tremors, stiffness, slow movement, and difficulty walking. These primary motor symptoms are collectively called parkinsonism. As the disease progresses, other symptoms may appear, dementia being the most common.
Parkinson’s disease is idiopathic in most patients, meaning that it has no known cause. However, it is thought that the reasons involve genetic and environmental factors. Although Parkinson’s is considered a non-genetic disease, 15% of people with Parkinson’s have a first-degree relative with the same condition. Concerning ecological factors, there appears to be a link between Parkinson’s disease and pesticide exposure, head trauma and rurality.
Parkinson’s disease affects nerve cells (neurons) in a specific area of the brain called the substantia nigra or SN. Most of these neurons produce dopamine, a chemical that acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain, that is, it sends signals to other nerve cells. There are five pathways through which the brain is connected, and through which dopamine is transmitted, Parkinson’s disease affects all five. With the progression of Parkinson’s disease, the amount of dopamine produced by the brain decreases, resulting in the inability to control movements (and other functions) usually. Aside from the deterioration of nerve cells, Lewy bodies are another key pathological aspect of Parkinson’s disease.
Currently, more than 10 million people have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, which affects more men than women. The average life expectancy after diagnosis is between 7 and 14 years and there is no known cure for the disease. But there are several medications, surgical operations, and other medical treatments that can relieve symptoms. One of these methods today is the use of CBD.
CBD AND PARKINSON’S DISEASE
A recent study, conducted by a team of researchers in Brazil, showed that daily cannabidiol treatment improves the well-being and quality of life of patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Twenty-one patients received CBD in gelatin capsules over six weeks. Three doses were administered: 300mg a day, 75mg a day and a placebo. The patients who showed the most significant improvement were those who received the 300mg dose. However, it should be noted that the treatment did not affect the disease, but only the symptoms, and that the small sample size of the patient group might have limited the findings. On another side,
It can be argued that CBD and other chemical compounds found in cannabis, as many studies have concluded, can relieve a range of health problems, disorders and impairments. Be that as it may, there is still much to be done for research on CBD and its effects on human health. Parkinson’s disease, unfortunately, is a good reminder of why this problem, as we have said before, is of great importance to public health. We hope that tomorrow, humanity will be able to use all its natural resources, accessible to all, to fight any problem or disease.
Indeed, this natural product is composed of more than 500 substances, including 120 cannabinoids, which have only partially been the subject of research. These components interact with each other or with other drugs. Besides, individual response is different, and many questions remain unresolved. Why does effective dosage vary so much from person to person? Why do some patients develop intolerance while others feel no effect? Why does cannabis relieve nausea in some people while causing it in others? Why does the plant as a whole act better than one of its isolated components?
Many people do not respond to it or only experience side effects. Each situation, therefore, requires an individual dosage. However, that cannabis is still used only as a last resort, although it has been observed in practice that many patients respond very well. Currently, it is only envisaged and prescribed once the other therapeutic options are exhausted, as the ultimate option. It would be desirable, however, for chronic, incurable patients, to try cannabis, before using another product sometimes causing more side effects.
- State Medical Marijuana Laws: ncsl.org/research/health/state-medical-marijuana-laws.aspx
- Drug Facts. What is Medical Marijuana? drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana-medicine
- Medical Cannabis Helps Older People with Parkinson’s, Other Diseases, Study Finds… parkinsonsnewstoday.com/2018/02/19/medical-cannabis-safe-effective-older-patients-parkinsons
- Medical Cannabis, an Out-of-Law Painkiller. sante.lefigaro.fr/article/le-cannabis-medical-un-antidouleur-hors-la-loi-en-france
- Cannabis for Medical Use: Not Miraculous, but a Valid Therapeutic Option. spectra-online.ch/fr/spectra/themes/cannabis-a-usage-medical-pas-miraculeux-mais-une-option-therapeutique-valable-696-10
- Can Cannabis for Medical Purpose be an Option for Children? cps.ca/fr/documents/position/le-cannabis-a-des-fins-medicales
- Therapeutic Cannabis to Reduce the Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. lachainedevv.com/du-cannabis-therapeutique-pour-reduire-les-symptomes-de-la-maladie-de-parkinson
- What is Parkinson’s Disease? webmd.com/parkinsons-disease/parkinsons-disease-overview
- CBD and Parkinson’s Disease. projectcbd.org/science/cannabis-pharmacology/cbd-and-parkinsons-disease
“BONG APPÉTIT” Abdullah talks to Ed Weidenfeld, Co-Founder Phyto LLC (and his son Nick) about Parkinson’s disease and his cannabis cultivation project.
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