Scientists are constantly researching new options for effective Parkinson’s treatment, and seniors with Parkinson’s may be excited to learn about a potential natural solution. Recent studies indicate a chemical compound in marijuana called cannabidiol (CBD) is showing great potential for relieving Parkinson’s symptoms. Lancaster, PA, Parkinson’s care experts want to share some of the findings on CBD and how it compares to other Parkinson’s treatments.
Conventional Parkinson’s Treatments
Parkinson’s results when a senior’s brain has insufficient levels of a neurotransmitter called dopamine. Traditional treatment involves drugs designed to alter the level of dopamine in the brain or mimic the effects of this neurotransmitter. However, the effectiveness of these medications often diminishes as the disease progresses. The medications can also cause significant side effects, including:
- Involuntary muscle movements, also known as dyskinesia
- Dystonia, which is characterized by painful muscle spasms
Marijuana as a Medicinal Herb
Marijuana has long been used in various cultures to treat a wide variety of health conditions. The chemical compounds in marijuana, including CBD and THC, are similar to chemicals produced by our bodies in response to pain and inflammation. The chemicals in marijuana have a synergistic effect with the body’s natural processes and can help reduce inflammation and pain. This has led to an increased interest in the use of CBD therapy to treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
Studies of CBD as Treatment for Parkinson’s
In 2002, a neurologist in the Czech Republic conducted a study to determine the effectiveness of medical marijuana in alleviating Parkinson’s symptoms. In this study, 50 percent of participants receiving CBD therapy reported their symptoms were alleviated. A 2014 study out of Israel, which focused on 22 people using medical marijuana as Parkinson’s treatment, arrived at similar results.
Potential Benefits of CBD for Parkinson’s
The participants in both studies reported less involuntary muscle movements and spasms, fewer tremors, and decreased muscle rigidity. They also stated they were able to get better sleep and experienced less pain. None of the participants reported any significant side effects from the therapy. There is also evidence CBD can prevent the destruction of neurons, which may slow the progression of the disease. Although more research is still needed, these preliminary studies seem to indicate CBD is a viable alternative therapy for seniors with Parkinson’s.
Many seniors prefer a more holistic approach to their Parkinson’s care, and CBD isn’t their only option. At Lancaster Home Care Assistance, we offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method (BCM), which helps seniors with Parkinson’s live happier and healthier lives by focusing on lifestyle factors like diet, physical activity, social ties, and cognitive health. For more information on BCM and the in-home elder care Lancaster, PA, seniors and their families can count on, call one of our knowledgeable Care Managers at (717) 540-4663 to schedule a no-obligation consultation.