Parkinson's and Cannabis
A brief introduction to how cannabinoids can be helpful for those with Parkinsons disease
World Parkinson’s Day (Sunday 11th April 2021) marked the beginning of Parkinson’s awareness month and Parkinson’s awareness week in the UK. At Cancard, we recognise that many patients with this condition experience symptomatic relief through the consumption of cannabis. Indeed, it is a qualifying condition for a medicinal cannabis prescription -making it an eligible condition for Cancard applicants who may be unable to meet the cost of a private cannabis prescription.
How can cannabis help?
Our bodies have an endocannabinoid system (ECS). This means that we create our own cannabinoids which bind to cannabinoid receptors in our bodies. The ECS is responsible for regulating many of the systems in our bodies, including sleep, mood and the central nervous system, and our cannabinoid receptors can be found throughout the body and the brain.
The basal ganglia, an area of the brain which controls movement, is affected by Parkinson’s. These areas of the brain contain high numbers of cannabinoid receptors. There is recognition that phytocannabinoids (or plant-based cannabinoids) bind to these receptors and some patients find that this leads to an easing of many of their symptoms such as tremor and stiffness.
The effects of cannabis and its symptomatic relief of Parkinson’s has been documented anecdotally by a number of Parkinson’s patients. We would like to share a popular clip of Larry whose tremor, amongst other symptoms, is notably improved and relieved minutes after the consumption of cannabis. We would also like to thank him for his bravery in allowing this clip to be shared online, giving hope to those with similar conditions who may be considering cannabis as a treatment option. Go Larry!
The top four self-reported cannabis strains for effectiveness in Parkinson’s are:
OG kush - and other kush dominant cultivars