With medical marijuana now legalized in 33 states and Washington, DC, it is obvious that there is strong interest in its therapeutic properties. Researchers are testing marijuana, which is also called cannabis, as a treatment for many illnesses and diseases, including neurological conditions, with Parkinson’s disease (PD) high on the list. But despite several clinical studies, it has not been demonstrated that cannabis can directly benefit people with PD.
Researchers began to show enthusiasm to study cannabis in relation to PD after people with PD gave anecdotal reports and posted on social media as to how cannabis allegedly reduced their tremors. Some researchers think that cannabis might be neuroprotective— saving neurons from damage caused by PD.
The Science Behind Marijuana
Medical marijuana is legal in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and Washington, DC.
While some results have been positive, the effects of medical marijuana are probably not completely understood, which is why more studies, especially those with more subjects, are needed. Most doctors don’t support study results because these studies do not meet minimum research standards.
Research is still needed to determine how medical marijuana should be administered and how its long-term use can affect symptoms of PD. To keep patients safe, states that legalize medical marijuana will eventually need to develop training programs for doctors and medical teams that prescribe medical marijuana. Consult your doctor to see if medical marijuana is an option for you.
A biotech is a company that uses the latest technology and expertise to take the best scientific discoveries and turn them into new medical treatments.
Hallucinations and delusions are common symptoms of Parkinson’s. Around 60% of people experience these distressing symptoms. Current treatments can make other Parkinson’s symptoms worse, as they block dopamine receptors in the brain. This makes this research even more exciting as the existing information we have on CBD suggests it has no side effects.
CBD is a compound found in the cannabis plant. Unlike another component, THC, CBD is non-addictive and doesn’t cause intoxication. You may have already heard of it because of its potential as a treatment for epilepsy and multiple sclerosis.
This project is the first clinical trial to go through the Virtual Biotech and the 6th project overall.
Our Virtual Biotech operates in the same way but instead of doing it for profit, like a standard biotech, we’re doing it for people affected by Parkinson’s. We don’t own our own labs, hi-tech specialist equipment or employ a team of scientists because this would be enormously expensive. Instead, we’re taking an efficient approach. Partnering with institutions and pharmaceutical companies worldwide that already have the expertise, tools and infrastructure. In a chronically underfunded area, this means more money can be put into promising treatments.
In a world first clinical trial, researchers will test whether cannabidiol (CBD) can treat Parkinson’s psychosis symptoms with the help of the Virtual Biotech.
The Parkinson’s Virtual Biotech is our best chance of turning promising discoveries into real treatments for people with Parkinson’s.
Try to be open, honest and willing to hear what your doctor says. Tell them you are looking at all treatment options and want to learn if and how cannabis might help. And if you are considering or taking specific products, share which. (Bring printed information or a picture of the label.)
There are many anecdotal reports of benefit. But controlled trials — on motor and non-motor symptoms as well as dyskinesia (involuntary, uncontrolled movement) — have not yet proven the safety or benefits of cannabis in Parkinson’s.
Is cannabis safe? Effective?
Researchers continue to work on defining safety for cannabis in Parkinson’s. And several studies are looking at possible benefits on specific symptoms. For the most up-to-date clinical trial information, visit Fox Trial Finder .
As of April 2021, 36 states and the District of Columbia allow the use of medical cannabis. The authorized medical conditions, formulations, and patient and physician requirements are different in each state. Note that even if Parkinson’s is a condition for authorized use, there may be additional requirements, such as also having another diagnosed condition (severe pain, nausea or malnutrition, for example).
What is medical marijuana?
Marijuana comes from the Cannabis plant, which contains hundreds of different components, including cannabinoids. Cannabinoids bind to receptors throughout the brain and body to influence movement, mood, inflammation and other activities. Many of these receptors are in areas of the brain impacted by Parkinson’s disease (the basal ganglia).