Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the two main components of medical marijuana. (The other one is tetrahydrocannabinol or THC.) Pure CBD does not cause a “high” and does not pose a risk of abuse or dependence. THC on the other hand, can cause these effects.
The FDA is aware of the health claims that are made by manufacturers about various products and issues warnings to companies who market CBD products with unsubstantiated health claims.
Pre-clinical evidence that CBD has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties
If you would like to try CBD for one of your PD symptoms, have a conversation with your movement disorders specialist about it. Your doctor may be willing to oversee your trying it, or may feel that it is too risky for you without evidence that it will help. At the very least, he/she can make sure that there are no drug interactions between CBD and anything else that you take and discuss with you any potential side effects that you need to be aware of.
More recently, I have received many inquiries specifically about the use of cannabidiol or CBD, for symptoms of PD. So today I’ll take a more in-depth look at CBD to help you better understand what it is and its possible use for symptoms of PD.
For all the other health claims, there is not enough clinical trial data to allow the FDA to state whether or not CBD is effective. And there definitely is not enough data to support the use of one type or formulation of CBD over another.
With a license, you can visit a dispensary, which sells cannabis products. Licenses typically don’t specify dosing or product information, so you work with the dispensary for recommendations on what may work for you. (This often is a trial-and-error process.) As the same product may vary significantly from location to location, it’s best to stick with one dispensary.
Under federal law, doctors cannot prescribe cannabis. But qualified doctors (those who have completed additional training and registration) can issue “certifications” that permit patients to get a license for medical cannabis. Many doctors choose not to pursue qualification and therefore are not able to issue certifications. (Some states maintain registries of qualified doctors that you can search online.)
- Regulations may deter investigators and participants.
The federal government classifies marijuana as Schedule I, which includes drugs that have no current acceptable medical use and a high potential for abuse. The Michael J. Fox Foundation supported legislation that eliminated barriers to conducting medical cannabis research. Funding restrictions also may limit research.
- Studies often have limitations.
Size, design, and lack of standardized formulations or dosing make it difficult to compare studies and draw conclusions. Many studies include small numbers of participants, so it’s unlikely the group represents the broad Parkinson’s population or that results apply to the majority. Few studies include a placebo group, which makes it difficult to determine how much benefit may truly be from cannabis and how much might be placebo effect. And studies that include questionnaires rely on individual report, which may involve bias or inaccuracies.
If you are thinking about cannabis, you may want to ask your doctor:
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).
What else should I know?
How Do You Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Texas?
Can Low Dose THC Treat Spasticity?
How Do I Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Texas?
How Do You Find The Best Medical Marijuana Doctors in Texas?
Cancer and PTSD Are Added as Qualifying Conditions for the Medical Cannabis Program in Texas – Will Governor Abbott Sign the Bill?
Yes! Texas has a low dose THC program, legalizing treatment for qualifying conditions.