Parkinson’s disease is one of the fastest-growing neurological conditions in the world.
Around one in 37 people alive in the UK today will be diagnosed with Parkinson’s in their lifetime.
The concept of using CBD oil for Parkinson’s disease is not a new one, but more research is needed until we know if this is a safe and effective treatment option.
In addition, those living with the condition may be curious to know how CBD oil may be used to enhance wellness and help individuals to cope with their symptoms.
What's in this Guide?
What is Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s disease affects the nervous system. It is a progressive disease, which means that it gets worse as time goes by.
There are no cures for Parkinson’s disease, but some treatments may help to lessen the symptoms.
Parkinson’s disease is caused by neurons in the brain which break down and die. We don’t yet know what causes this dysfunction, but it is thought that the symptoms are caused by a loss of neurons that produce dopamine.
Dopamine is a chemical messenger or neurotransmitter. When dopamine levels decrease, this leads to abnormal brain activity, which causes impaired movement, tremors and rigid muscles.
What Are The Symptoms Of Parkinson’s Disease?
As a progressive disease, the symptoms may be barely perceptible in the beginning.
Symptoms often start on one side of the body and then remain worse on that side throughout the progression of the disease.
Common symptoms of Parkinson’s include:
- Tremors – These are small involuntary movements or shakes. It typically starts in the hands or fingers.
- Slowed movement – Your steps might become smaller and simple tasks may take much longer.
- Rigid muscles – Stiffness can limit your range of motion and make simple tasks far more uncomfortable.
- Loss of automatic movements – Movement like blinking might become challenging.
- Speech changes – You might slur your words or lose your usual pattern of speech.
- Impaired posture and balance – You might struggle to balance, or your posture may become stooped.
- Writing changes – As it becomes harder to write, your handwriting will become smaller.
How Is Parkinson’s Disease Treated?
As there is no cure for Parkinson’s, the only option is to treat the symptoms with medication and monitor the progression. Unfortunately, there are no tests available; only a doctor with experience in neurological conditions can diagnose it.
There are drugs available to help increase dopamine levels in the brain. Many people notice a significant improvement when they first start to take medication for their condition.
However, these results will diminish over time.
There is also the option for surgical intervention through a process called deep brain stimulation.
During this procedure, a brain surgeon places an electrode into specific parts of your brain. This is connected to a generator implant in the chest.
This sends electrical impulses to your brain and can improve symptoms.
In addition to medication and surgery, lifestyle changes are often recommended. For example, eating a healthy and varied diet is thought to ease some symptoms.
Regular exercise is also recommended to help improve mobility and prevent muscle stiffness.
What Is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is a natural supplement extracted from the cannabis plant. CBD is one of around 113 cannabinoids found in the plant.
It can interact with the endocannabinoid system, which is a network of receptors throughout the body.
Like all receptors, they need special neurotransmitters to send messages between them. CBD and other cannabinoids are capable of supporting this system and helping to ensure it functions correctly.
Is CBD Oil Good For Neurological Conditions?
Since endocannabinoid receptors are found in the central nervous system, including the brain and nerve cells, it is possible that maintaining a healthy endocannabinoid system could provide neuroprotective properties.
More research is needed to understand how the endocannabinoid system works and how CBD oil could influence the progression of Parkinson’s disease.
But, at the moment, we know that CBD oil can be used to help support a healthy lifestyle.
Some CBD products could also help to keep individuals with Parkinson’s disease active.
For example, this CBD muscle balm could help to ease sore muscles and joints.
It contains natural botanical ingredients, including menthol and tea tree oil.
Does CBD Oil For Parkinson’s Disease Work?
There isn’t enough research to confirm if CBD oil will work for Parkinson’s tremors.
However, we know that CBD oil is generally considered safe, provided the user does not exceed 70mg per day.
CBD oil is growing in popularity, and research into the potential benefits is still ongoing. There are currently only two medicines containing CBD licenced for use in the UK.
GW Pharmaceuticals produces Sativex and Epidiolex.
The former contains THC and CBD and is used to treat multiple sclerosis. The latter contains high-dose CBD and is used to treat a rare form of epilepsy.
How Do You Add CBD Oil To Your Daily Routine?
If you choose to add CBD oil to your daily routine, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, CBD is available in many different forms, including sublingual oral drops, capsules, gummy sweets and a crystal isolate.
A broad-spectrum CBD product is generally better than an isolate as it will also contain beneficial plant compounds, including terpenes and flavonoids.
While CBD is generally safe, not all CBD is created equal. Choosing a reputable CBD seller is perhaps the most important aspect of adding it to your daily routine.
Ask for a certificate of analysis to confirm your CBD oil is both high quality and free from THC.
It’s also vital to check for potential interactions with other medications. Since CBD is relatively new, it might not be listed as an interaction in the information leaflet.
If in doubt, always run this by your doctor or pharmacist.