CannaMed Magazine Editorial Team
In the United States each year about 60,000 people are diagnosed with Parkinson’s, a neurodegenerative disorder that affects movement; with symptoms that progressively worsen, making life difficult for the patient. Parkinson’s disease has no described cure beyond a surgery that has specific requirements and is effective for a limited number of patients, there are also treatments that help with the relief of some symptoms.
Knowing the magnitude of this disease and the few options available for affected patients, it is logical that they are interested in other therapeutic options that help them improve their situation and alleviate their motor (tremors, slowness, rigidity, lack of balance) and non-motor symptoms (pain, sleep disorders, anxiety, depression). Among the natural treatment options is the use of cannabis, which has been attributed neuroprotective properties acting to reduce damage to the nervous system.
Many patients have turned to the Cannabis sativa plant in search of an effective solution, and this was recently evidenced in a survey conducted by the Michael J. Fox Foundation to understand the experience of Parkinson’s patients during the consumption of the plant and how it was reflected in the relief of the symptoms of the disorder. More than 1,800 people filled the form, and some of the results were presented at the Annual Meeting of the Neurology American Academy earlier this year. From the data collected, several conclusions were made, among them: more than 50% of the respondents reported benefits in terms of sleep, mood and pain, on average they used a daily dose.
In general, most of the patients who participated in the study were able to describe what variety of cannabis they consumed and the dose used, except for 25% who did not describe the exact dose, which could be linked to lack of communication with their doctor about the consumption of the medicine.
The researchers are going to publish all the results during the course of this year to see the bigger picture of the situation of these patients and to understand better which are the strains that play an important role in this pathology; in this way, hypotheses are formulated that promote the development of studies in laboratories and clinical studies, which generate more evidence; and thus the proper use of cannabis for this treatment is accepted by more doctors, patients and relatives; allowing medical cannabis to provide benefits to those affected by the disorder.
In diseases such as Parkinson’s, where there is no known cause or cure and the symptoms vary depending on the patient, it is most likely that a single treatment will not work in all cases, being difficult for specialists and patients (in general older adults) to find a successful solution, due to this; it is extremely important to investigate what other components could help during this neuropathology and to establish a range of treatments (where cannabis can be included) to which patients can turn for a safe and effective therapy that allows them to improve their quality of life. Remember to always consult your doctor or specialist regarding the proper use of cannabis!