CBD May Improve Quality of Life for Parkinson’s Patients

Parkinson’s is a progressive disease of the central nervous system that effects movement, often causing tremors and difficulty speaking. Symptoms are caused by nerve cell damage in the brain which causes dopamine levels to drop.  There is currently no cure for Parkinson’s. There has, however, been a significant increase in both awareness and research since actor Michael J. Fox was diagnosed and founded the Foundation for Parkinson’s Research in 2000.

While there is currently no known cure for Parkinson’s, researchers have been attempting to find effective treatments to improve the quality of life of patients.  The endocannabinoid system, which regulates many of the body’s vital functions, is now being studied as a management tool for Parkinson’s symptoms.  Cannabidiol, or CBD, one of the major non-psychoactive components of the hemp plant, has been shown to help regulate the endocannabinoid system. Researchers at the University of São Paulo, in Brazil, conducted a study to better understand if CBD could improve the quality of life of those suffering from Parkinson’s.

Brazilian researchers created 3 groups of Parkinson’s patients of 7 people each.  The trial subjects had no other psychiatric conditions.  One week before treatments began, all patients were given the same tests measuring motor skills, symptom severity and quality of life. Of the 3 groups, one was used a control, receiving a daily placebo treatment, one was administered 75mg of CBD daily and the last group was administered 300mg CBD daily.  After treatment, the patients were given the same series of tests. While there were no significant changes in motor skills or symptoms, there was a drastic change in the test scores measuring quality of life.  Patients who received 300mg of CBD per day felt their quality of life was markedly improved.

While this study was conducted on a limited patient pool, researchers were confident in the results and expressed the need for further research, with larger trials, to continue studying the effects of CBD on Parkinson’s patients.  In the case of a progressive disease, with no known cure, quality of life is crucial to maintain.

To read more about the study from the University of São Paulo, please click here.