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Medical Cannabis for Parkinson’s Disease

"Nearly 1 million Americans are living with Parkinson’s disease. Discover the benefits of medical cannabis to ease pharmaceutical side effects and treat the symptoms of the disease itself."

February 27, 2023

Parkinson’s Impact on Brain & Body

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive, degenerative neurological disorder. It causes loss of the brain and nerve cells that produce dopamine, the chemical that controls movement and helps balance sleep, wake, and mood cycles. This disruption of signals throughout the central nervous system results in severe tremors, muscle spasms, sleep and mood disturbances, and widespread loss of coordination. Over time, patients have difficulty standing, walking, speaking, and swallowing. Anxiety and depression are also common in Parkinson’s.

Approaches to Symptom Control

Parkinson’s patients are usually prescribed a number of different medications, including those to help replace dopamine. Unfortunately these drugs can carry unpleasant side effects including forgetfulness, confusion, dizziness, insomnia, and nausea.

More and more, physicians are recommending medical cannabis as a complementary treatment for helping to relieve Parkinson’s symptoms. They’re also recognizing its potential benefits to treat the disease itself.

Cannabis & Parkinson’s Disease

Many patients report that cannabis has played a role in improving quality of life. Specifically, it may work to protect neurons in the brain, which may slow disease progression.
Dysregulation of the body’s endocannabinoid system has also been linked to Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative disorders. Cannabinoids including CBD and THC work naturally to stabilize dopamine levels and regulate motor function.

The Role of CBD & THC

Both CBD and THC-based treatments may help combat nausea, insomnia, anxiety and depression, pain, and muscle spasms Parkinson’s patients experience. Physicians often recommend high-THC, low-CBD cannabis to maximize the benefits of THC in elevating mood, inducing restful sleep, easing nausea, and improving appetite.

In addition to symptom relief, cannabis may help improve the effectiveness of pharmaceuticals prescribed to Parkinson’s patients.

Adding Cannabis to Your Treatment Plan

In addition to a number of physicians, leading Parkinson’s organizations — including the National Parkinson’s Foundation and the Michael J. Fox Foundation — have endorsed the use of cannabis for Parkinson’s patients.

If you’re interested in learning more about how cannabis can complement your current Parkinson’s treatment plan, talk to your doctor. And if you’re interested in getting your medical marijuana card, we’re here to help.

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