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, tics, dystonia, Tourette’s syndrome.
There are many ways that CBD is thought to assist in the treatment of Parkinson's - a progressive neurological disorder that initially manifests with kinetic issues like slow movement, stiffness and loss of balance.
Our exploration into the use of CBD for the treatment of this disorder only started a few decades ago, but quite a few studies have suggested that there are positive effects to be had for patients when it comes to symptoms like depression, pain, anxiety and sleep.
One study of 22 Parkinson's patients found that the use of cannabis helped to improve their pain, but this was marijuana that included both CBD and THC. However, another study concluded that CBD alone also had strong pain relieving and anti-inflammatory properties.
CBD can also be helpful at easing tremors, uncontrollable muscle movements that are one of the most common symptoms of Parkinson's, as one study showed, and even psychosis, another possible symptoms suffered by 50% of patients, was found by another study to be reduced with consumption of CBD.
Getting sufficient sleep and experiencing a good quality of life are also constant battles for Parkinson's patients that can be helped with the use of CBD.
CBD is understood to relieve anxiety, stress and depression (see our article on CBD for these issues here and here) which can be symptoms that plague those suffering from this disorder and many other degenerative conditions.
Movement during sleep and vivid nightmares can also cause sleep deprivation for Parkinson's patients. And fortunately as we have frequently discussed (see our article on CBD for sleep here) and many of our customers have experienced, both cannabis and CBD can be highly effective tools for getting a full and quality night's rest for those who consume it.
TREMORS & ESSENTIAL TREMORS
As already mentioned, tremors related to Parkinson's can be assisted by the consumption of CBD. As one study found, "a single dose of CBD can decrease anxiety and tremor strength in people with Parkinson’s disease during situations known to induce anxiety, such as a public speaking exercise."
But essential tremor - a nervous system condition also causing involuntary rhythmic shaking but entirely separate from Parkinson's - is another type of movement disorder that can be greatly assisted by the use of CBD.
While there is currently no solid scientific proof that CBD can alleviate the condition, it is generally though that CBD's track record for calming anxiety and reduce muscle spasms - both of which greatly exacerbate essential tremor - suggests that it would make an effective adjunctive treatment for this disorder.
And in the meantime, research to prove this is currently being undertaken by the University of California's Centre for Medicinal Cannabis. They are in the process of conducting studies that assess the effectiveness of cannabinoids in the treatment of essential tremor.
Dystonia is a term used to classify a group of conditions affecting muscles and movement, which result in uncontrollable and extremely painful cramps and muscle spasms.
Research around the therapeutic potential of CBD in the treatment of dystonia is encouraging, with a 2002 study showing that consumption of high doses of CBD was effective in delaying the progression of the disease.
Another study focused on 5 patients with dystonic movement disorders, finding that daily doses of CBD over the course of six weeks resulted in marked improvements of between 20% and 50%.
TOURETTE'S SYNDROME & TICS
In July 2019 Tourette’s was officially included in the American state of Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana programme, joining 21 other conditions that the Health Department has qualified as being treatable with cannabis.
As mentioned above, CBD is understood to help provide relief from the stress that very often acts as a trigger for Tourette’s, as well as helping to alleviate the anxiety and depression that can subsequently be brought on as a result of it and cause the involuntary tics associated with the condition.