Cannabis effect on Parkinson’s treatment
Cannabis has been used for thousands of years, among other things, for neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s, Tourette, Epilepsy and Multiple Sclerosis.
Despite the legal situation, it is still considered a dangerous drug. The use of cannabis is spreading throughout the world and in Israel.
In reviewing studies, it appears that there is still not enough clinical research in Parkinson’s patients, and in the media, case studies are published. A study conducted by the Michael J. Fox Foundation examined 595 Parkinson’s patients for a year.
76% of them consumed cannabis due to their medical condition. Patients completed various questionnaires about their medical condition, symptoms of the disease, balance and more. Cannabis users reported a significant reduction in symptoms, 6.4 on the scale from 0 to 7, with 59% reporting a decrease in the consumption of prescription drugs as a result of cannabis use.
CONCLUSIONS: Cannabis has a good effect on the mood, depression, stiffness, pain, memory, and fatigue of patients.
A study in Israel examined 22 Parkinson’s patients in a series of tests and quizzes before smoking cannabis, half an hour after smoking and again after a period. It was found that improvement in the Parkinson’s indices was also an improvement in the sleep quality and pain levels of the patients. The study concluded that cannabis may also have a therapeutic effect beyond being an effective symptomatic therapy for Parkinson’s disease.
Another study examined 339 Parkinson’s patients (200 men, 139 women), with an average age of 65.7 years. 25% of them reported cannabis use, most of them with about half a teaspoon of inflorescence taken with meals-ingestion. Most patients took only once a day. The patients reported that they began to treat themselves with cannabis without a doctor’s recommendation, but rather following media reports. What’s interesting is that none of the patients used cannabis before. Forty-six percent of the patients reported moderate to significant relief of Parkinson’s symptoms. Less than 5% have been reported to worsen the symptoms of the disease. According to the patients’ reports, the relief came about an month and a half after the start of cannabis. Patients who persisted for at least three months showed greater improvement.
Clinical and laboratory studies indicate that the endocannabinoid system is involved in areas responsible for brain movement. In the basal ganglia region there is a large concentration of receptors and this can explain the fact that Parkinson’s disease and other diseases with movement disorders can improve with cannabis treatment.
An interesting finding in the autopsy of people with Parkinson’s disease, compared with the autopsy of healthy people, was that they had high levels of anandamide (endocannabinoid produced in our body – analogous to THC in cannabis) in spinal fluid and low levels of cannabinoid receptors in the basal ganglia region of the brain.
CONCLUSIONS: Cannabis helps with motor-motor symptoms as well as non-motor symptoms (anxiety, depression, pain, and fatigue) in Parkinson’s patients. There is no doubt that more research is needed to determine which percentage of cannabinoids are superior to these patients.
Important: The article should not be viewed as a recommendation for use of cannabis. Consult your physician before taking cannabis.