The use of CBD oil as a therapeutic agent has been increasingly realized in recent years. Some people use it as a magical drug for treating pain, others suggest it for brain conditions like epilepsy. And now, it’s considered as a potential treatment option for Parkinson’s, a brain disease that severely affects body movements.
But what is CBD? Does it treat Parkinson’s disease symptoms? what does the research say about it? and are there any adverse effects linked to it?
Here, you will know the answers to these questions.
What is CBD and how it is extracted as oil?
CBD oil is derived from the CBD (cannabidiol) component of the cannabis plant, commonly known as the Hemp plant. This plant has a long history of medicinal use.
The cannabis plant contains over 100 compounds. But the two compounds that make it a unique and the most popular plant are the CBD and the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).
THC has a psychoactive effect, it makes you high when used in high amount. It is due to THC, people use cannabis as a recreational drug in the form of marijuana. And that’s the main reason why the growing of cannabis and its use as a recreational drug is illegal in most parts of the world.
CBD, on the other hand, is free from psychoactive effects, it contains only 0,3% THC. And therefore, it is occasionally used for health reasons rather than for recreational purposes.
CBD is usually extracted in the form of oil and this process requires the following 3 steps:
- In the 1st step, the cannabis plant is dried and grounded.
- In the 2nd step, the grounded buds are treated with ethanol, mixed well and filtered out.
- And in the 3rd step, the liquid is passed through a micro-filtration and kept the filtered portion for overnight. This final step causes the remaining ethanol to evaporate.
The concentrated form of oil is then ready to use.
It increases the quality of CBD oil when the extraction process is performed in a well-ventillated and open space.
While the exact mechanism of how does CBD oil work in the body is not fully known, consuming it may help to improve conditions like anxiety, chronic pain, diabetes, epilepsy, and even cancer.
Does it have therapeutic effects against Parkinson’s disease?
CBD is a strong neuroprotective agent, meaning that it can protect the brain from damage caused by various insults. One of these insults is oxidative stress, which is linked to Parkinson’s disease.
Oxidative stress occurs when brain cells produced free radicals at abnormally higher levels. These radicals caused damage to various components of brain cells like DNA, protein, and lipids, and ultimately leads to Parkinson’s disease.
CBD can offset the effects caused by free radicals. It scavenges these radicals and restores normal functions of the cell. Not only that, but it may also help in the growth and recovery of new cells. And by doing so, it may protect the brain from developing diseases like Parkinson’s disease.
CBD can also reduce the process of inflammation within the brain. Although inflammation has not been established yet as the primary cause of Parkinson’s, it still indirectly contributes to the disease progression.
CBD acts by inhibiting the formation of pro-inflammatory molecules inside the cell and facilitating the production of anti-inflammatory molecules. And by doing so, it protects the brain cells from dying due to inflammation.
Considering these abilities (antioxidant and anti-inflammatory) of CBD, it is logical to think that its consumption may have some beneficial effects against Parkinson’s disease.
What does the research say?
Research studies are in the exploratory phase of finding out how CBD can help people with Parkinson’s disease.
The evidence collected so far indicates that its consumption may potentially help to control the non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s.
For example in one study, the use of cannabidiol was shown to improved psychosis, which includes minor illusions, non-disturbing hallucinations, and vivid dreams. In this study, six Parkinson’s patients who had psychosis for 3 months were given 150 mg/day cannabidiol for 4 weeks. The study found a significant reduction in the psychosis-related complications in these patients.
Its intake has also been shown to reduce sleep problems in Parkinson’s patients. In a pilot study conducted on 4 patients with Parkinson’s showed that daily intake of cannabidiol had markedly reduced the frequency of rapid eye movement sleep, which is a common sleep disorder in Parkinson’s.
Similarly, in another study involving 21 Parkinson’s patients showed that 300 mg daily intake of cannabidiol for 6 weeks resulted in a greatly improved quality of life in patients.
How about the motor symptoms?
It’s not yet clear whether its consumption can also treat the typical motor symptoms of the disease. So far, only one study has reported that it may help to improve the tremor. In this study, oral doses of CBD rising from 100 to 600 mg/day over a 6-week period was found to ease the uncontrolled muscle movements.
How about its adverse effects?
CBD is not associated with any adverse effects when used in a moderate amount. Several clinical trials have shown that CBD is well tolerated and has a good safety record. When tested in Parkinson’s patients, the CBD intake didn’t worsen the patients’ symptoms.
Minor side effects caused by its consumption include diarrhea, tiredness, and abnormal eating behavior. It can suppress the immune system when used in high concentrations.
While some clinical studies suggest that CBD may contain a therapeutic strategy for treating some symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, it is still uncertain whether its consumption can reverse the disease condition or at least improve the typical motor symptoms.
If you are suffering from Parkinson’s disease and thinking of using CBD oil, it is strongly advised to check it with your doctor first as it may further aggravate your condition.
Disclaimer: The information shared here should not be taken as medical advice. The opinions presented here are not intended to treat any health conditions. For your specific medical problem, consult with your health care provider.