Multiple medical case studies have indicated that cannabis shows great promise in the treatment of symptoms of movement disorders, including Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, tremors, dystonia, Tourette’s and tics.
In fact, in July 2019 Tourette’s was officially included in the American state of Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana programme - joining a list of 21 other conditions that the Health Department has qualified as being treatable with cannabis.
CB1 receptors have shown to be heavily distributed in the basal ganglia, which is a cluster of nerve cells in the part of the brain responsible for the voluntary and learned movements in the body. Any disruption of this part of the brain results in diseases characterised by involuntary movements, such as the ones mentioned above.
Considering the significant amount of CB1 receptors present in this region, it is unsurprising that cannabinoids could potentially have an impact on the control of movements experienced from these diseases.
Some research done on animals displays potential for cannabinoids to suppress movements through the stimulation of the CB1 receptors, and a literature review from 2015 explores the effect that cannabinoids can have on the treatment of movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s Disease.
Several of these reports suggest the potential of cannabinoids in treating symptoms. Additionally, cannabinoids from both THC and CBD have been know to help with stress and anxiety, which are symptoms that tend to worsen the involuntary movements caused by these diseases.
With initial results proving promising and further research and studies being done every day, we can only hope to find solid evidence of cannabis's potential to curb the painful symptoms of movement disorders and many other conditions.