CBD: A Natural Remedy that Decreases Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms?
A healthy, natural alternative to traditional medications is becoming more and more accessible for persons suffering the effects of Parkinson’s disease. Studies show that cannabidiol, also referred to as CBD or CBD-rich cannabis, may relieve tremors and other debilitating symptoms of Parkinson’s. CBD is a natural compound found in cannabis sativa plants (cannabinoids), with none of the adverse side effects of prescription medications and without the “high” effect from THC in marijuana. And while traditional medications may become less effective over time, or stop working completely, CBD users are hailing long-lasting benefits, with many giving up their pharmaceuticals for good.
CBD is also gaining momentum as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, anxiety, and chronic pain. Studies are ongoing, but returns indicate CBD is an exciting alternative to traditional medications.
Did You Know? Most assisted living residents can legally use CBD. Read our 50 state guide to using CBD in assisted living.
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a disorder that affects the nervous system, with the average age of onset at 60. Simply stated, brain cells that produce the neurotransmitter dopamine, responsible for sending messages to the body in relation to movement, become damaged and die. This results in a variety of movement issues including tremors, lack of facial expression, difficulty balancing, and stiff muscles. In addition, PD may develop into Parkinson’s disease dementia (PDD), which impacts one’s cognitive functioning, such as the ability to remember things, make good decisions, and pay attention.
A difference between PDD and Alzheimer’s disease (beyond the physical impact) is that while Alzheimer’s more directly targets a person’s memory and ability to communicate, PDD is often associated with deteriorating problem-solving skills and thinking speed. A rarer form of dementia called Lewy-body dementia, however, has symptoms closer to PDD. (For more on PDD, click here.) https://www.dementiacarecentral.com/aboutdementia/parkinsons/
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, approximately 50 to 80% of people with PD go on to develop PDD. On average, the development of dementia is 10 years after the onset of PD.
Initial symptoms of PD may be nearly unnoticeable and include:
– Difficulty standing
– Lack of facial emotion
– Tremors (shakiness of one’s hands)
– Bradykinesia (slow movement)
– Balance issues
Problems walking are so commonly seen that this symptom has its own name: Parkinson’s (or Parkinsonian) gait. This is often characterized by a stooped posture, short steps that are more like shuffling of the feet (as if the individual is dragging them), and reduced arm movement or arms that do not swing when one is walking. Persons with PD may experience other issues over time, including:
– Loss of smell
– Trouble swallowing
– Slurred speech
– Visual hallucinations
– Lack of judgement
– Difficulty concentrating
– Memory loss
Persons with PD may also suffer from depression, anxiety, apathy, irritability, pain, and difficulty sleeping. As mentioned previously, many people with Parkinson’s disease go on to develop Parkinson’s disease dementia.
Persons with PD and PDD often seek treatment in the form of prescription medications to alleviate the symptoms, frequently with adverse side effects including dizziness, drowsiness, blurred vision, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, dry mouth, loss of appetite, heartburn, and more.
Potential Benefits of CBD
Exciting news about the therapeutic effects of CBD for persons with PD abounds. CBD has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that make it a neuroprotective agent, meaning it can help with specifically neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease. When nerve cells in the brain and body are protected, symptoms including movement and thinking problems are less pronounced and get worse at a much slower rate.
Further, CBD can help alleviate anxiety symptoms tied to tremors. A published study from Brazilian researchers showed that CBD reduced anxiety and tremors that occurred during a public speaking test for people over 60 with PD. Subjects who took 300 milligrams of CBD before giving a speech (public speaking is a classic anxiety-inducer) had less symptoms than a control group who were given a placebo.
This builds on exciting previous findings. Because PD affects the brain’s ability to produce dopamine, researchers from the University of Louisville, Kentucky, made an important discovery a few years ago when they found that CBD potentially increases dopamine levels, which would counteract the steady decrease of dopaminergic nerve cells experienced by those afflicted with PD.
Cannabinoid receptors run throughout our body as part of the endocannabinoid system regulating hunger, pain sensitivity, temperament, memory, and more. These natural receptors are affected in patients with PD. As analyses continue, CDB is demonstrating relief for tremors, psychosis, and problems sleeping. CBD may also reduce depression and anxiety, and relieve pain. A study at the Colorado School of Medicine has demonstrated relief of issues including tremors and difficulty sleeping. CBD studies are also showing it as effective in treating the psychosis that comes with PDD (Parkinson’s disease dementia). So far, patients are tolerant of low doses of CBD oil and report positive effects.
Is CBD with 0% THC Better? Studies have shown there are fewer medical benefits in zero-THC CBD, because other compounds in cannabis, including THC, can help with symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. This is called the “entourage effect.”
Numerous other studies echo CBD’s benefits:
– Researchers in Brazil had previously noted “Our findings point to a possible effect of CBD in improving quality of life measure in PD patients.” (Study)
– Researchers with the Department of Neuroscience and Behavior there concluded “preliminary data suggest that CBD may be effective, safe, and well tolerated for the treatment of the psychosis in PD” (Study)
– And a different Colorado study concluded: “Cannabis was rarely used in our population but users reported high efficacy, mainly for nonmotor symptoms.”
These more recent revelations come on the back of federally funded preclinical studies published in 1998 documenting strong antioxidant and neuroprotective properties in CBD and THC, particularly in treating “neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and HIV dementia.” These promising findings led to a U.S. government patent on cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants. Further, THC and CBD products are becoming mainstream as an increasing number of states legalize cannabis for medicinal and even recreational purposes. (For more on legalized CBD, see below.)
In June of 2018, the first FDA-approved CBD medication, Epidiolex, was approved to treat two rare types of epilepsy. Epidiolex might have a future treating other diseases including Parkinson’s, after a study released in 2020 showed that for most participants with Parkinson’s saw improvements in motor function after taking the drug. Nighttime sleep and issues with emotions and behavior improved significantly as well.
CBD and Better Brain Cells
While there are currently no CBD medications approved by the FDA specifically for Parkinson’s disease, ongoing research is encouraging. In 2017, the Salk University in California found that THC and other compounds found in cannabis, such as CBD, reduce the amount of amyloid beta, a plaque protein that is toxic in the brains of persons with Alzheimer’s disease. This is great news for persons with dementia because the removal of amyloid beta preserves brain cells. Amyloid beta not only kills neurons, it also causes inflammation and contributes to memory loss and other cognitive issues. This type of plaque is found in the brains of some persons with Parkinson’s disease dementia.
Finally, we should note that there is evidence CBD is more effective in preventing the onset of movement disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, than reversing or eliminating symptoms of those diseases. This doesn’t mean that taking CBD will prevent someone from developing PD, but tests showed better benefits for mice when the drug was administered before the animal’s brain was manipulated to give it PD-like symptoms. CBD is more preventative, therefore, than therapeutic.
Misperceptions & Myths
CBD Makes You Feel “High”
The effects of CBD and THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), both cannabinoids that are extracted from cannabis sativa plants, are often confused. That said, both CBD and THC are known to have healing properties, and some researchers believe a combination of the two are very effective as a means of treatment. However, only THC produces a feeling of being “high” or “stoned.” Said another way, CBD-rich cannabis usage does not have any mind-altering effects. This makes CBD a desirable option for those that do not want to feel “high” from THC or certain prescription drugs.
CBD is a Regulated Product
Due to a lack of regulation when it comes to CBD products, there is no guarantee that a product labeled as containing a certain amount of CBD mg (for instance 30mg) actually has that amount. Therefore, there may be a lack of consistency from one product to the next. A researcher at Penn Medicine in Philadelphia discoveredthat almost 70% of CBD products sold on the internet are under-labeled or over-labeled when it comes to the concentration of CBD within the product. Just 30% of the products bought contained a concentration of CBD within 10% of what the label indicated. For the best and most consistently produced CBD products, locally sourced medical CBD is recommended. These products are held to a higher level of lab testing for strength, as well as impurities.
CBD has Sedative Properties
While some people may believe that CBD is a sedative, the truth is that it actually produces alertness without negatively impacting one’s sleep. Even if one takes a dose of 600mg of pure CBD, which is a very high dose, it still does not produce a sedating effect. However, one may take a CBD with a terpene (fragrant and flavorful essential oils found in plants) called myrcene, which is produced by several cannabis strains, that has sedating properties.
CBD is Legal in All States
As you will learn more below under “Legal Status of CBD in the U.S.,” CBD is in a legal gray area in some states. In Idaho, for instance, only CBD with absolutely zero THC is legal. South Dakota was the last state to say CBD of all forms is illegal, and voters have since changed that with a legalization law that goes into effect in July 2021. Regardless of specific local laws, CBD can be purchased legally online and delivered to all states. One can do so here.
Potential Risks of Use
Studies on CBD have shown that this form of treatment is usually tolerated well by users and is regarded as safe. There has also been no evidence for potential of abuse and/or addiction. That said, a few undesirable side effects have been noted, which include diarrhea, appetite changes, and tiredness. In addition, there may be dangerous drug interactions when CBD is combined with certain pharmaceutical medications. And the FDA warns that CBD can cause liver injury (as shown in some animal experiments with super high doses). The agency also says that long-term side effects remain unknown. Therefore, it is crucial that one speak with his/her physician prior to adding CBD to any medication regimen. In addition, one should monitor side effects upon use.
Forms of CBD Administration
There are a variety of options when it comes to administering CBD.
– Ingestible CBD, which is a very common means of consumption, and includes oils (CBD is mixed with what is called a carrier oil, such as hemp seed, coconut, and olive oil) and tinctures (CBD is in an alcohol solution).
– Sublingual consumption, whereby a few drops of oil or tincture is placed under the tongue for a few minutes, is often suggested because the oil is absorbed quickly into the bloodstream and is generally effective within a few minutes. One can also digest the oil or tincture directly or add to food, such as a smoothie.
– Oil capsules can be taken like pills.
– CBD edibles, like gummies, can take an hour before they start working. The effects can then be felt for 4 hours or even longer.
– Oils and tinctures can also be applied topically, meaning they can be applied to the skin. Like with digesting CBD, it can take an hour or so for the effects to be felt and will last for a few hours. This method of use is good for persons suffering from localized pain.
– One can also opt for CBD vape products (vaporizer pens), CBD inhalers, or smoke high-CBD hemp strains. This method of inhalation allows users to feel the effects of CBD almost immediately and generally lasts a couple of hours.
Did You Know? CBD oil in vape pens sometimes contains a solvent called “propylene glycol,” which degrades when burned at high temperatures and can have serious side effects. Try to find “solvent free” CBD vape pens or use alternative forms of administration.
There is no preferred method of CBD administration for persons with Parkinson’s Disease. Patients should choose a method with which they are most comfortable and one which is not hampered by tremors. If success with CBD is found, users should choose an administration method which can accommodate frequent and ongoing usage.
Legal Status of CBD in the U.S.
For the purposes of legality of CBD, it is important to be aware of the difference between hemp-derived CBD and marijuana-derived CBD. As previously mentioned, CBD is derived from both marijuana plants and hemp plants. Marijuana plants can contain as much as 30% THC, while hemp plants do not contain more than 0.3% THC. The percentage of THC in hemp plants is so low that it is impossible for one to get “high”, and therefore, the federal government has said it is legal and states have made hemp-derived CBD legally available in their state. As far as CBD manufactured from marijuana, each state has its own specific laws.
In spite of the diverse legal status in different states, CBD can be purchased online and delivered legally to all 50 states.
● CBD from marijuana plants, as well as medical/recreational cannabis, is legally available to users over the age of 21 in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. In order to purchase these products, one must have a legal state ID.
● Marijuana-derived CBD and medical cannabis is legally available by prescription in an additional 28 states (as of May 2021). These include Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
● CBD is also available with limited or no THC content (generally under .3% to under 5% THC) in the following states: Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.
● CBD in both forms is illegal in South Dakota until July 2021.
How to Obtain CBD
The best place to buy CBD rich medical cannabis is from state licensed medical (and in some states, recreational) dispensaries. Alternatively, CBD can be purchased legally online here.
For convenience, many dispensaries also provide delivery services. Unfortunately, dispensaries are not legal in every state. Oftentimes one can find hemp-derived CBD in local health stores. If taken once daily, a continuous regimen of CBD would cost approximately $2-$3 per day. As detailed in the following section, insurance will not cover the cost, therefore the daily cost would be out-of-pocket.
Insurance Coverage of CBD
Unfortunately, private health insurance companies will not cover the cost of CBD products with the exception of Epidiolex, which is FDA-approved for epilepsy. That said, some Parkinson’s patients and their caretakers may find that high-CBD strains of medical marijuana aren’t overly expensive and are safer (have less harmful side effects) compared to medications prescribed for Parkinson’s disease.
Customers with disabilities or medical conditions including Parkinson’s might be able to receive discounts simply by asking CBD retailers. Many wellness companies offer between 10 and 50% off for customers who are medically eligible. Whether ordering CBD online or buying it in a store, be sure to ask about cost savings.
People frequently want to know if Medicare covers the cost of CBD products. As stated above, CBD (as well as THC) does not have adequate FDA approval. Therefore, Medicare does not cover the cost of such products, nor does Medicare allow it to be used towards a Part B (health insurance coverage) or prescription drug plan deductible. This is true for all conditions, not just for Parkinson’s disease.
As with Medicare, Medicaid will not cover the cost of CBD products.
The VA will not directly cover the cost of products containing CBD. However, there are VA pensions, such as the basic pension and Aid & Attendance (A&A) Pension from which veterans or surviving spouses receive a monthly monetary benefit. Recipients of these pensions are able to use the money as they see fit, which means theoretically that one could use it towards purchasing CBD products. Learn more about these pensions here.
Many CBD retailers provide discounts to veterans who might need help covering the costs of their products. It is possible for active duty and military veterans to receive savings of more than 50% from companies that deliver CBD nationwide.
Using CBD to Treat Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms
The benefits and research around CBD are still emerging
Colleen Travers writes about health, fitness, travel, parenting, and women’s lifestyle for various publications and brands.
Verywell Health articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and healthcare professionals. These medical reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more.
Diana Apetauerova, MD, is board-certified in neurology with a subspecialty in movement disorders. She is an associate clinical professor of neurology at Tufts University.
With the legalization of medical marijuana, many states are approving the use of it in a non-traditional way to treat the symptoms of certain conditions, including Parkinson’s disease. Marijuana has two major components to it—tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Both may help with nausea and muscle pain or spasms, but unlike THC, CBD doesn’t give you the “high” feeling marijuana is most commonly known for. This makes it an enticing, natural way for many to help treat their Parkinson’s disease symptoms. What’s more, is that because CBD is a natural compound from the Cannabis sativa plant, using it may also leave you side effect-free, unlike many prescription medications.
The body of research on using CBD for Parkinson’s disease symptoms is rapidly growing, as Parkinson’s disease affects 1% of the population over 60 years old. Parkinson’s disease is a neurological condition, affecting the nervous system. Parts of the brain that produce dopamine, which is responsible for sending messages to the body in order to direct movement, become damaged or die. This results in tremors, muscle stiffness, the inability to use facial expressions, and trouble balancing.
In connection with Parkinson’s disease as well as other movement-related disorders, CBD may help improve motor skills. In one study published in Frontiers in Pharmacology CBD was shown to have a more preventative role in delaying abnormal movement symptoms in animal models of Parkinson’s.
Since Parkinson’s disease can take some time to properly diagnose when the symptoms are already prevalent, using CBD once diagnosed may not offer much benefit. With early detection combined with the use of CBD together the possibility of reducing movement-related symptoms increases.
Those dealing with Parkinson’s disease may also have trouble sleeping due to REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD), a condition in which patients ‘act out’ their dreams while asleep. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics found that four patients with Parkinson’s disease who also suffered from RBD had a decrease of RBD symptoms during sleep with the use of CBD.
In some cases, people suffering from Parkinson’s disease may also have symptoms of psychosis, ranging in hallucinations to vivid dreams and illusions. Research has found that CBD may be able to help. In research out of University of São Paulo in Brazil, patients were given a dose of CBD starting out at 150 milligrams (mg) per day in addition to their current treatment plan of therapy for four weeks. The use of CBD showed no adverse effects, no impact on worsening motor function, and a decrease in their reported psychosis symptoms, meaning that not only can it help with the physical setbacks of Parkinson’s disease, it can also play a part in the cognitive challenges as well. This was however an older study and current clinical trial evidence to support the use of CBD is minimal.
More research out of Brazil suggests CBD can improve the overall quality of life of those with Parkinson’s disease. In a sample of 21 patients, those who were treated with 75 mg to 300 mg of CBD per day reported a significant increase in quality of life, though no significant differences were noted in motor and general symptoms or neuroprotective effects. This goes to show how much results can vary when it comes to the effects of CBD, requiring larger studies to be done in order to get more definitive answers to this treatment option.
Uses and Safety
Parkinson’s disease can impact cognitive function and memory, particularly in those whose symptoms progress to Parkinson’s disease dementia. Because of this, medical marijuana with both THC and CBD may not be recommended, as it can impair thinking and brain function even more so. CBD by itself may be a safer route.
CBD has been discovered as an effective way to help treat Parkinson’s disease symptoms because it interacts with two cannabinoid receptors in the body found on certain cells called CB1 and CB2. By interacting with one or both of these receptors, CBD may delay tremor development as well as have protective neurological benefits. But as seen with the above studies, there is no uniform approach or conclusion on this treatment method. This means that patients may react differently to using CBD, some having tremendous success while others seeing little difference. But regardless of whether or not CBD is an effective treatment option for you, you always need to consult your treating physician to make sure this treatment will not cause side effects.
What can cause side effects is if a patient decides to mix medical marijuana with their treatment plan that consists of certain prescription medications. If you plan to use medical marijuana as opposed to CBD by itself, it’s smart to consult a healthcare provider or your pharmacist before you start mixing it in with other medications to make sure it’s safe for you.
Should You Use It?
While the research on CBD to treat Parkinson’s disease symptoms is largely inconclusive, its mild effect on patients as a whole makes it enticing to try in addition to an existing traditional treatment plan. Parkinson’s disease has no cure. But with prescription medication, therapy, and now perhaps the use of nontraditional options like CBD, patients may be able to experience less frequency and severity of symptoms that affect their motor skills.
If you’re interested in trying CBD for Parkinson’s disease, talk to your healthcare provider about it. They will be able to point you to the latest research and provide recommendations on how much you should take. They will also be able to monitor your progress with the rest of your care team in order to come to a conclusion if this is the right treatment plan for you.
CBD Oil for Parkinson’s Disease: Can Hemp Oil Help Parkinson’s Patients?
CBD can be a healthy, natural alternative to traditional treatments for Parkinson’s Disease.
Studies show that CBD, or cannabidiol, also referred to as CBD-rich cannabis, may help with managing debilitating symptoms of this condition, including the non-motor ones.
It’s actually possible to live a productive and happy life despite being diagnosed with Parkinson’s. When you take CBD oil, you won’t experience the adverse side effects of prescription medications; you also won’t get the high effect associated with using marijuana. And while traditional treatments may become less effective over time, CBD users are reporting long-lasting benefits.
Of course, we’re not saying CBD is a miracle drug — it’s not even a drug in the first place — but a high-quality CBD oil can improve your daily life as a Parkinson’s patient.
CBD is gaining momentum as a versatile supplement for a wide range of other conditions, including anxiety, epilepsy, pain, sleeping difficulty, or neurodegenerative disorders.
Everybody wants to capitalize on the booming market now, so how do you choose the right product from so many different brands?
This article will help you understand the potential benefits of using CBD oil for Parkinson’s Disease on top of highlighting the best companies whose products actually work.
Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurological condition that impacts a person’s nervous system, usually appearing at the age of 60. In simple words, brain cells that release the neurotransmitter dopamine — which sends messages to the body about the movement — become damaged and start to degenerate.
This causes a variety of motor issues, including but not limited to tremors, lack of facial expression, problems with balance, and stiffness in joints and muscles.
Moreover, Parkinson’s Disease may also lead to the development of Parkinson’s disease dementia (PDD), which compromises one’s cognitive performance, such as the ability to remember things, pay attention, or make decisions.
Some people confuse PDD with Lewy Bodies Dementia (DLB). However, with DLB, cognitive problems appear prior to motor issues. Both diseases are progressive, meaning the symptoms will deteriorate over time, and unfortunately, there’s no treatment that could cure people out of PD.
Initial symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease are mild and may include:
- Lack of facial expression
- Balance issues
- Difficulty sitting or standing
- Slowness of movement (Bradykinesia)
People with Parkinson’s Disease struggle with walking as the disease progresses. There’s even a phenomenon called Parkinsonian gait, which refers to a stooped posture, shuffling of the feet, and limited arm movement.
Other health problems in people with PD include:
- Slurred speech
- Memory loss
- Difficulty maintaining focus
- Impaired judgment
- Visual hallucinations
- Loss of smell
- Trouble swallowing
People with Parkinson’s Disease may also suffer from anxiety, apathy, irritability, depression, pain, and insomnia. As mentioned, many PD patients develop Parkinson’s dementia over time.
Prescription medications to alleviate the symptoms of the disease may be effective, but they tend to lose efficacy over time, requiring larger doses to provide relief — which often leads to adverse side effects such as drowsiness, blurred vision, lightheadedness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dry mouth, heartburn, loss of appetite, and more.
Not to mention the risk of lethal overdose.
It’s no wonder that people with Parkinson’s disease often seek alternative forms of treatment.
Let’s see how CBD could be used for Parkinson’s disease.
How Could CBD Oil Help with Parkinson’s?
While doctors haven’t been using CBD oil for Parkinson’s disease long-term, and research into the benefits of CBD for this condition only began a few decades ago, current findings are very exciting. Studies suggest that CBD may have some positive effects on certain symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, especially when it comes to anxiety, depression, and sleep difficulties.
Common treatments for Parkinson’s Disease can result in medicine-triggered tremors or uncontrolled muscle movements. Continuous use of such medicine could make this symptom even worse. One older and smaller study suggested that CBD may be a possible solution due to its ability to help ease these muscle movements .
A recently published study conducted by Brazilian researchers showed that CBD lowered tremors and anxiety that occurred during a public speaking test for people over 60 with Parkinson’s disease. Participants who took 300 mg of CBD before giving a speech, which is a classic anxiety-inducer, experienced milder symptoms than a control group who took a placebo.
Another study from researchers Alyssa S. Laun and Zhao-Hui Song from the University of Louisville, Kentucky, made a significant discovery a few years ago when they found that CBD is an inverse agonist of the CPR6 receptor found primarily in the basal ganglia area of the brain, which connects to the brainstem and cerebral cortex . This receptor is responsible for many important functions in our bodies, such as movement, emotion processing, and learning. This means that CBD has a strong affinity to this receptor, providing beneficial effects against the symptoms of cerebral palsy and Parkinson’s. Any rise in dopamine levels would counteract the slow decrease of dopaminergic neurons experienced by PD patients.
A small study of 22 people with Parkinson’s found that taking cannabis helped improve pain . However, this study involved medical marijuana, which contains both CBD and THC in various ratios.
However, animal studies have suggested that CBD alone may be effective in reducing pain and inflammation, two symptoms that affect people with PD frequently .
Psychosis is a sort of collateral damage caused by Parkinson’s disease. It can lead to hallucinations, delusions, and delirium. It is more likely to occur during the later stages of the disease and affects up to 50 percent of people with PD .
While antipsychotic medications are available to treat this symptom, some people have wondered if CBD might help too.
According to a 2009 study, the severity of psychosis and its symptoms were reduced in individuals with Parkinson’s disease . More interestingly, CBD also didn’t cause any side effects.
A lack of quality sleep caused by sleep disruption is a serious problem for people with Parkinson’s disease. Vivid dreams or nightmares, as well as an abrupt movement during sleep, can heavily impact your sleep cycles. Studies have found that both cannabis and CBD alone might help with sleep deprivation .
Overall Quality of Life
Researchers have suggested that the many potential benefits of CBD can translate to improved quality of one’s life. This is a major concern for people diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, as the condition affects various both physical and mental health.
One study found that people with Parkinson’s disease and no psychiatric symptoms or conditions experienced an improved quality of life while taking CBD . However, this study was conducted in a very small group of people, so further research is needed to draw further conclusions on these findings.
What Does the FDA Say About Using CBD Oil for Parkinson’s?
CBD oil hasn’t been approved by the FDA as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease. In fact, there are no FDA-approved cannabis treatments for this condition as of today. However, the FDA did acknowledge a CBD-based medication, Epidiolex, to treat two types of drug-resistant epilepsy.
Researchers from the University of Colorado are using Epidiolex to analyze its benefits on people with Parkinson’s-triggered tremors. The study is currently in its second stage.
Can You Use CBD Oil as a Prevention for Parkinson’s?
Studies have suggested that CBD may be able to help prevent Parkinson’s disease, but the current data comes only from animal models.
The research also suggests that CBD can do nothing to help treat PD after its onset. Based on this, it may only be useful as a preventive supplement.
However, most clinical trials only use CBD after a person is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. This is important because about 60 percent of the dopamine-receptive neurons in the brain are already destroyed by the time a person begins showing the symptoms of their condition.
It’s also difficult to predict who will develop Parkinson’s and who will be more resistant to this disease. There are only a few preventive strategies, and thus far, we don’t know if CBD can help everyone.
How to Administer CBD for Parkinson’s Disease?
If you’re about to use CBD for the first time, you may be wondering how to take it the right way to maximize the benefits for Parkinson’s disease.
You can buy CBD in various forms, including:
- CBD oil (sublingual drops). CBD can be swallowed or absorbed sublingually (beneath the tongue). This is a good option if you don’t like to take capsules and want to precisely measure out your dose. The calming effects of CBD usually take hold around 15-30 minutes after ingestion and may last for up to 6 hours.
- Capsules. This form of CBD is a good option if you’re looking for a premeasured dose of CBD in your supplement. You just take as many capsules as recommended by your physician. The downside of taking CBD capsules is their delayed onset and lower bioavailability since they have to pass through the digestive system before reaching the bloodstream.
- Edibles.CBD-infused is becoming more popular these days. Gummies are by far the most common option. They work in a similar manner to capsules. They usually kick in after 40–120 minutes and last for up to 10 hours. Edibles are a discreet way to deliver a dose of CBD.
- Topicals. Products like lotions and creams may be effective for localized problems because they deliver the CBD to the cannabinoid receptors located in the deeper layer of the skin. From there, CBD can produce its soothing effects on the body, reducing inflammation, stiffness, and pain.
- Vape pens. CBD oils can be mixed with thinners such as vegetable glycerin to be vaporized and inhaled. The effects take hold quickly if you use this route of administration and can deliver more CBD to your system than any of the above methods. However, vaporized CBD will last shorter than it does when you take CBD oil or edibles, usually up to 2-4 hours.
Possible Side Effects of CBD Oil
Most studies have concluded that CBD is a safe and well-tolerated substance. The WHO issued a complete report on the safety and efficacy of cannabidiol, supporting the earlier findings. CBD rarely causes any side effects, and if they do happen, they tend to be mild.
The side effects of CBD oil include:
- Dry mouth
- Changes in appetite
CBD can also interact with prescription and non-prescription medications, so make sure to always consult your doctor before taking CBD, especially if you’re on medications that are metabolized by the Cytochrome P450 system. If your doctor tells you not to eat grapefruit along with your meds, the same rule applies to CBD because they use an identical mechanism, blocking the p450 system from metabolizing the active ingredients in those medications.
Best CBD Oil for Parkinson’s Disease: Our Top Picks in 2022
1. Royal CBD (Best CBD Oil for Parkinson’s Disease)
Get 15% off all Royal CBD products. Use code “CFAH” at checkout.
|Potency||250 mg – 2500 mg|
|Available Flavors||Natural, Berry, Mint, Vanilla|
|CBD per serving||8.3 mg – 83.3 mg|
Why Royal CBD Oil is the Best CBD Oil for Parkinson’s Disease
Royal CBD is a premium brand from Nevada that sells full-spectrum CBD oil from organic hemp. The company was started by a group of cannabis activists to leverage the quality standards for making CBD products in the industry. On top of its best-selling CBD oil, Royal CBD also offers full-spectrum softgels, THC-free gummies, and two types of broad-spectrum topicals.
Royal CBD oil comes in four strengths. Users can choose between 250 mg, 500 mg, 100 mg, and 2500 mg of total CBD. If you have problems holding the natural CBD oil in your mouth, you can pick one of the four flavored options. The 2500 mg is only available in the unflavored variant because adding flavorings would compromise its cannabinoid profile and the efficacy of the entourage effect from other cannabinoids.
The oil contains the full-spectrum of phytochemicals, including CBD, trace cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids that boost the efficacy of cannabidiol. To further enhance the bioavailability of this hemp extract, the guys at Royal CBD have suspended it in food-grade MCT oil from coconut. The addition of MCT oil also brings other benefits to the table, including a stable source of energy for the brain and the presence of heart-healthy essential fatty acids.
I found the 2500 mg potency particularly helpful for non-motor problems like anxiety, irritation, and fatigue. This CBD is also decent at easing pain and inflammation, not to mention that it can last for up to a few months if you benefit from lower doses in your routine.
The entire Royal CBD collection is made from US-grown organic hemp, extracted with supercritical CO2, and rigorously tested in a certified laboratory for potency and purity.
- Made from locally grown organic hemp
- Extracted with supercritical CO2
- Infused with full-spectrum CBD
- Available in 4 strengths and flavors
- Up to 2500 mg of CBD per bottle
- 3rd-party tested for potency and purity
- Great natural flavor
- Not available in local CBD stores (this may soon change)
2. Gold Bee (Best Organic Formula)
|Potency||300 – 1200 mg|
|Available Flavors||Natural, Honey|
|CBD per serving||8.3 mg – 33.3 mg|
About Gold Bee
The “runner up” title in our ranking of the best CBD oils for Parkinson’s Disease belongs to Gold Bee, which is another premium manufacturer from Nevada. This company makes unique CBD oils that are infused with a natural honey flavor, hence the Bee name. The guys at Gold Bee have partnered with their local growers from Colorado to create their own blend of high-CBD strains.
Gold Bee CBD oil comes in four different concentrations, from 300 mg to 1200 mg CBD per bottle. And just like Royal CBD, this brand also uses full-spectrum CBD in its product, so you’re getting the whole hemp goodness from the original plant. When it comes to symptoms like anxiety and problems with focus, I’ve noticed similar results to Royal CBD oil, but I think Gold Bee products are less affordable in the long-run.
Still, these are the best CBD oils for Parkinson’s disease in the mid-potency range.
- Sourced from US-grown organic hemp
- Contains full-spectrum CBD
- Up to 33 mg CBD/mL
- Great potency range for beginners
- Third-party tested for potency and purity
- Great honey flavor
- No high-strength CBD oils
3. CBDPure (Top Transparency)
|Potency||100 – 1000 mg|
|CBD per serving||3.3 – 33 mg/mL|
I highly recommend CBDPure for those who are just starting out with CBD. The strengths of the oils offered by this company are great for beginners. The lowest strength contains 100 mg of CBD, which is perfect if you want to see how taking CBD affects your body. It delivers 3.3 per half a dropper of the oil, so it should be good for managing mild symptoms.
For moderate problems, you can use the higher potencies. These include 300 mg, 600 mg, and 1000 mg of CBD per bottle. The last potency is a standard option for users who already have some experience and their daily dose doesn’t exceed 30 mg.
This brand is a textbook example of transparency. You can easily access the lab reports of their CBD oils and softgels through the company’s website.
- Sourced from organic Colorado-grown hemp
- Extracted with supercritical CO2
- Lab-tested for potency and purity
- 90-day return policy
- Only two forms of CBD available
- Low potency
- Premium pricing
4. Hemp Bombs (Best CBD Isolate)
|Potency||125 – 4000 mg|
|Available Flavors||Natural, Acai Berry, Orange Creamsicle, Peppermint, Watermelon|
|CBD per serving||4 – 133 mg/mL|
About Hemp Bombs
If you’re looking for a company that offers CBD oil made with a broad-spectrum of cannabinoids or based on CBD isolate, Hemp Bombs is by far the best manufacturer on the market. The company specializes in making pure CBD oils in a wide range of potencies, with up to 4000 mg of CBD per bottle.
This CBD oil is a good alternative for people with Parkinson’s disease who don’t want to include any THC into their regime for some reason. Broad-spectrum or isolated CBD can work for you if you’re tested for THC at work, as large doses of full-spectrum CBD oil taken regularly can result in a false-positive result on the screening.
However, those using CBD oils with zero THC should be aware that the synergy from other cannabinoids and terpenes will be either incomplete, or there will be no synergy at all (if using isolate).
- Sourced from organic hemp
- Extracted with CO2
- 0% THC
- Available as broad-spectrum or isolate
- Third-party tested for CBD and contaminants
- Up to 4000 mg of CBD per bottle
- 5 strengths to choose from
- Infused with synthetic flavorings
- No “entourage effect” from other cannabinoids and terpenes
- Most people don’t need such high doses of CBD oil in their routine
5. CBDistillery (Best Price)
|Potency||250 – 5000 mg|
|Potency||8.3 – 166 mg/mL|
As one of the industry’s trailblazers, CBDistillery definitely deserves a mention on our list of the best CBD oils for Parkinson’s disease considering how the company has managed to maintain its stellar reputation throughout the years. Not only did CBDistillery not rested on the laurels, but it also became one of the biggest suppliers in North America.
CBDistillery’s mission is to provide high-quality CBD oils affordable for everyone. The company sells hemp extracts in full-spectrum and broad-spectrum variants. The latter is referred to as “pure oil” and contains all the non-psychoactive cannabinoids and terpenes from hemp, but without any THC in the final product.
This company covers the entire potency range for CBD oils, from 250 mg to a whopping 5000 mg of CBD per bottle. At 166 mg of CBD in each mL, the strongest version is enough to get yourself stocked with CBD for months to come.
The only downside of CBDistillery’s products is that they’re not made with organic hemp. Nevertheless, it’s still one of the best companies in this price range, so if you’re shopping for CBD on a budget, this is a rock-solid supplier.
Comparing CBD with Levodopa for Parkinson’s
Levodopa is an established treatment for Parkinson’s disease. Although it’s not perfect, it’s currently the most effective treatment for PD. It helps boost the level of dopamine in the brain.
Levodopa is effective at targeting the motor symptoms of the condition, such as tremors or muscle stiffness.
However, this medicine does little to combat the nonmotor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. These are the problems that can significantly affect a person’s daily life. They include anxiety, sleep disturbance, fatigue, irritation, and depression.
Furthermore, prolonged use of levodopa may result in side effects like elevated anxiety, agitation, confusion, and nausea. It may also trigger tremors that result from the medication itself, not PD.
CBD appears to help with those nonmotor symptoms and potential side effects, rather than physical problems. A study with more than 200 participants found that regular use of cannabis was highly effective on non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. However, this study included a combination of THC with CBD, not CBD oil alone.
Final Thoughts on Using CBD Oil for Parkinson’s
There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease. Once diagnosed, patients can only slow their progression.
However, there are ways to manage its pesky symptoms. One of them is using CBD oil. If you’re planning to try it out, remember to make an appointment with your doctor first. This is to make sure that you don’t experience any side effects of potential drug interactions. In addition, your doctor can also give you professional advice on finding the right dose.
Although more research is needed to confirm the benefits of CBD oil for Parkinson’s disease, the best product that may support official treatment is Royal CBD oil. Made from organic hemp and using supercritical CO2, this product is pure, safe, and available in a wide range of potencies to suit different CBD needs.
Do you know anyone who takes CBD oil to cope with the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease? Does it help? Let us know in the comment section below!
Nina created CFAH.org following the birth of her second child. She was a science and math teacher for 6 years prior to becoming a parent — teaching in schools in White Plains, New York and later in Paterson, New Jersey.
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