CBD Oil for Parkinson’s Disease Treatment

Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders have been linked to oxidative stress and neurodegeneration.  Parkinson’s disease is progressive, and initial symptoms vary based on the individual.  It is the second most common neurodegenerative disease worldwide, and its prevalence is increasing.1

This disease is thought to affect 0.3% of the entire population and about 1% of those over 60 years of age.2

Risk factors associated with Parkinson’s disease are shown in the table below.3

Non-motor symptoms often appear years before the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.  Some of these symptoms include:4

  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Hypotension
  • Dizziness
  • Apathy
  • Sleep problems
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

The motor symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease are often referred to as the “classical triad”.  These symptoms as well as others are shown in the table below:5

Classic Treatment of Parkinson's Disease

There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease at the current time.  The medications we use help mitigate the symptoms.  This disease is the result of a decreased level of dopamine in the brain.  Most of the drugs utilized for Parkinson’s either increase dopamine concentrations in the brain or substitute for dopamine.  Some examples of these agents are listed below:

Carbidopa-levodopa – This is the most effective treatment currently available for this disease.  Once this medication arrives in the brain, it is converted into dopamine.

Dopamine agonists – These medications don’t work as well as carbidopa-levodopa, but they are longer acting.  Examples include:

  • Pramipexole
  • Ropinirole
  • Rotigotine – Available as a patch.
  • Apomorphine – Short-acting injectable form.

MAO-B Inhibitors – These agents help increase dopamine concentrations by decreasing its metabolism.

  • Selegiline
  • Rasalagine
  • Safinamide

Entacapone – This medication prolongs the effect of levodopa by blocking an enzyme that metabolizes it.

Anticholinergic drugs – These are used to decrease the tremors caused by Parkinson’s disease.  These medications possess several side effects that are unfavorable for elderly patients.  Anticholinergics cause blurred vision, confusion, dry mouth, constipation and increase risk of falling.

  • Benztropine
  • Trihexyphenidyl

Amantadine – This medication is sometimes used in the early stages of Parkinsonism to relieve mild symptoms.

Cannabidiol (CBD) and Parkinson’s Disease

Cannabidiol was first studied in Parkinson’s patients to verify its antipsychotic properties.  When these patients were treated with CBD for four weeks, symptoms of psychosis decreased without an increase in adverse effects or worsening motor function.6

In 2014, a case series involving four patients with Parkinson’s disease, showed the ability of CBD to reduce the frequency of the events related to REM sleep behavior disorder.7

 It was also noted that CBD was able to improve the quality of life of the Parkinson’s patients when used over a six week period.8

 Although these results are promising, CBD has not been shown to improve the motor symptoms of PD.  Animal models have shown CBD to be beneficial only prior to or immediately following manipulation that causes PD-like symptoms.  If CBD is given one week after the manipulation, protective effects are not observed.9

 These findings suggest that CBD may be more effective in preventing motor symptoms than treating those that are already occurring.  By the time a patient is diagnosed with PD, it is estimated that approximately 60% of the dopaminergic neurons have already been lost.10

 This gradual neuronal loss can occur up to 10 years after the onset of non-motor symptoms.11

Michael Brown pictured with Final Thought written

Parkinson’s disease is a debilitating illness that affects approximately 1% of those over 60 years of age.  It is a difficult disease to treat because the agents we use to control the symptoms often lead to other conditions.  By increasing dopamine in the brain, we can make the patient more prone to hallucinations and other psychiatric issues.

Cannabidiol can help with psychosis, sleep, and quality of life in Parkinson’s patients.  Although it may be too late to treat motor symptoms after a PD diagnosis, CBD products could be a sensible choice for those who show early signs of Parkinson’s disease.

Like many other supplements, more studies need to be completed to learn just how beneficial CBD products can be in this population.  My recommendation is to try them if you are suffering from the early symptoms of PD listed above.  If they help and don’t produce side effects, they might protect you from some of the motor symptoms that occur later in the disease process.  CBD products are generally well-tolerated and don’t produce the euphoria associated with THC. 

If you have any questions or want more information, feel free to send me an email.  I am always happy to share my knowledge about CBD or any medications or natural products.  If I don’t know the answer to your questions, I will find them for you.  Have a great week, and stay healthy.

Michael Brown in Lab Coat with arms crossed

Michael J. Brown, RPh, BCPS, BCPP

Mr. Brown is a Clinical Pharmacist specializing in pharmacotherapy and psychiatry.

Read Michael’s story here.

Feel free to send Michael a message using this link.

 

 

Disclosure:  This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you click on, or make a purchase through a third-party link.

CBD Oil for Panic Attacks, Anxiety, Depression and Pain.

Disclosure:  This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you click on, or make a purchase through a third-party link.

Sunshine Nutraceuticals has recently added a few CBD products.  We are now stocking hemp oil liquid concentrate, hemp oil softgels and CBD gummies.  

I will be writing posts on the possible uses of cannabidiol (CBD). 

While reading these, please be aware that the research is currently thin, mostly due to the fact that marijuana and its chemical components have been classified by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as a schedule I substance until recently. 

It is also important to realize that these are just possible uses and we are not making any medical claims.  You should always consult a physician prior to ingesting CBD products for any specific condition.  There may be traditional medications necessary to effectively treat your medical condition.  CBD products are NOT meant to replace medical treatment from a licensed physician.

How we got here?

The FDA approved EpidiolexTM in 2018 for the treatment of seizures.  This drug contains CBD and was the first FDA-approved drug to contain purified extract from the marijuana plant. 

On December 20th, 2018, the 2018 Farm Bill was signed into law.  This bill removed hemp from the controlled substance act meaning cannabis plants and derivatives containing no more than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on a dry weight basis were no longer controlled substances under federal law.

Cannabidiol  is a substance found in the marijuana plant.  CBD is not psychoactive so it will not produce a “high” like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).  Cannabidiol has gained popularity for those searching for alternative natural treatments for many ailments.  This post will concentrate on the use of CBD for psychiatry disorders and pain relief.

Panic Attacks and Anxiety

I have had personal experience with panic attacks.  Panic attacks come on suddenly and consist of the following symptoms.

  • Increased heart rate
  • Chest pain
  • Trouble breathing
  • Sweating
  • Feeling of impending doom
  • Fear of losing control
  • Dizziness
  • Light headedness

These attacks often happen with no trigger and can lead to depression and self-isolation.  Although there are few studies specific to CBD and panic disorder, an article published in February of 2017 explored the anti-panic actions of cannabidiol.  The investigators concluded that CBD did exhibit anti-panic properties.  They also stated that CBD may prove to be a good alternative to benzodiazepines and antidepressant drugs in the treatment of panic disorder in the future.1

CBD was also reported to be safe and well-tolerated when taken orally in doses up to 1500 mg/day.2

Another study evaluated the use of CBD in reducing anxiety induced by simulated public speaking (SPST).  This was meant to simulate social anxiety disorder (SAD).    Treatment of SAD is often ineffective as only about 30% of patients achieve true recovery or remission.3

The researchers found that those pretreated with CBD experienced significantly less anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort in their speech performance.  They concluded that a single dose of CBD can reduce anxiety associated with SPST.  Cannabidiol was shown to inhibit the fear of public speaking which is one of the main symptoms of SAD.4

 

 

 

Depression

Many studies have demonstrated CBD’s ability to facilitate serotonin neurotransmission in some areas of the brain.5

6

7

8

9

10

11

Low serotonin levels are associated with depression.  Since we know our traditional antidepressant agents work, in part, by increasing the availability of serotonin at receptor sites, CBD’s effect on this neurotransmitter could also lead to antidepressant effects.  The CBD likely does not increase the amount of serotonin, but increases the effect of the serotonin that is available in the body.

Pain

Approximately 62% of those who use CBD do so to treat a medical condition.  The top use is to treat chronic pain, arthritis and joint pain.12

Unfortunately, there are few studies using CBD alone to treat pain.  Researchers believe CBD works best when combined with THC in the treatment of pain.  The studies that do exist have come to conflicting conclusions. 

I must point out that pain is a subjective feeling.  Those who are utilizing CBD for pain must believe it is helping. 

Research has also shown that combining cannabinoids with opioids leads to greater pain relief.13

This is especially important given the current opiate crisis and risk of death by overdose.  The combination of CBD and opiates may lead to a decrease in opiate dosages in future treatment of chronic pain.

I remember watching an episode of 60 Minutes years ago where a couple was giving marijuana to their young child who had a rare seizure disorder.  They had been to many doctors and traditional medicine had failed to stop the seizures.  They were forced to break the law in order to treat their child’s condition.  Marijuana was the most effective treatment for the seizures.

We have come a long way with regards to the marijuana stigma.  It certainly can be abused, but I believe it will prove to be useful for several psychiatric disorders as well as pain relief.  Thanks to the approval of EpidiolexTM  and the Farm Bill of 2018, CBD can be purchased legally.  Only time and research will answer the questions about how effective this substance can be for various ailments.

I would love to hear any comments you have regarding this post.  Have you used CBD for any of the conditions above?  Did it work?  Send me an email and I will post the comments at the bottom of this post.  I was forced to remove the comment section due to never-ending spamming.

Have a great week and stay safe!