As a Colorado resident, I often wonder about the healing power of plants. We live in a time when the pharmaceutical industry is booming. Pills exist to tame nearly any symptom, but they often can have unwanted side effects. The side effects of plants, however, may be less harsh, or even nonexistent. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a great example of this phenomenon.
What is CBD?
CBD is a compound derived from the cannabis plant and is commonly sold in oils and foods. Depending on the product, CBD could potentially treat pain, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and inflammation, among other issues. Additionally, research suggests that CBD potentially could be useful for other conditions, including improving well-being and quality of life in Parkinson’s disease (PD).
Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD generally has relaxing effects. Users do not feel “stoned” or intoxicated.
Why is CBD controversial?
The use of CBD is legally gray, as marijuana is illegal at the federal level. However, the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill legalized the use of CBD produced via the cultivation of hemp with THC levels below 0.3 percent.
You also can use a medical marijuana card to obtain CBD in some states. Nevertheless, a few states currently forbid the use of CBD. Check to see if CBD is legal in your state here.
Because CBD is unregulated at the federal level, it can be difficult to determine the amount of THC in certain products. Purchasing CBD products from reputable brands that conduct third-party testing is currently the safest option.
What might CBD do for Parkies?
CBD has shown potential in early studies for reducing dyskinetic activity in people with PD and treating motor symptoms in various neurodegenerative conditions.
According to a 2018 review study published by the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology, “Cannabidiol is a non-psychotomimetic compound from Cannabis sativa that presents antipsychotic, anxiolytic, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective effects.” Data also suggest that CBD could potentially play a protective role in the treatment of certain movement disorders. Results are promising, but further studies are needed to clarify the efficacy of CBD.
My dad kept hearing about the potential benefits of CBD. He doesn’t like the sensation of getting high, so he investigated products that would yield similar benefits without the possibility of intoxication. Eventually, he purchased two tinctures that he consumed orally for several weeks. He doesn’t believe the tinctures had a substantial impact on his everyday life, but I’m not ready to let him stop hoping.
Of course, it is important to consult your physician before trying CBD or any other treatment.
Has CBD helped you in any way? Please share in the comments below.
Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.
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