Using CBD to Treat Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms
The benefits and research around CBD are still emerging
Colleen Travers writes about health, fitness, travel, parenting, and women’s lifestyle for various publications and brands.
Verywell Health articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and healthcare professionals. These medical reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more.
Diana Apetauerova, MD, is board-certified in neurology with a subspecialty in movement disorders. She is an associate clinical professor of neurology at Tufts School of Medicine.
With the legalization of medical marijuana, many states are approving the use of it in a non-traditional way to treat the symptoms of certain conditions, including Parkinson’s disease. Marijuana has two major components to it—tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Both may help with nausea and muscle pain or spasms, but unlike THC, CBD doesn’t give you the “high” feeling marijuana is most commonly known for. This makes it an enticing, natural way for many to help treat their Parkinson’s disease symptoms. What’s more, is that because CBD is a natural compound from the Cannabis sativa plant, using it may also leave you side effect-free, unlike many prescription medications.
The body of research on using CBD for Parkinson’s disease symptoms is rapidly growing, as Parkinson’s disease affects 1% of the population over 60 years old. Parkinson’s disease is a neurological condition, affecting the nervous system. Parts of the brain that produce dopamine, which is responsible for sending messages to the body in order to direct movement, become damaged or die. This results in tremors, muscle stiffness, the inability to use facial expressions, and trouble balancing.
In connection with Parkinson’s disease as well as other movement-related disorders, CBD may help improve motor skills. In one study published in Frontiers in Pharmacology CBD was shown to have a more preventative role in delaying abnormal movement symptoms in animal models of Parkinson’s.
Since Parkinson’s disease can take some time to properly diagnose when the symptoms are already prevalent, using CBD once diagnosed may not offer much benefit. With early detection combined with the use of CBD together the possibility of reducing movement-related symptoms increases.
Those dealing with Parkinson’s disease may also have trouble sleeping due to REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD), a condition in which patients ‘act out’ their dreams while asleep. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics found that four patients with Parkinson’s disease who also suffered from RBD had a decrease of RBD symptoms during sleep with the use of CBD.
In some cases, people suffering from Parkinson’s disease may also have symptoms of psychosis, ranging in hallucinations to vivid dreams and illusions. Research has found that CBD may be able to help. In research out of University of São Paulo in Brazil, patients were given a dose of CBD starting out at 150 milligrams (mg) per day in addition to their current treatment plan of therapy for four weeks. The use of CBD showed no adverse effects, no impact on worsening motor function, and a decrease in their reported psychosis symptoms, meaning that not only can it help with the physical setbacks of Parkinson’s disease, it can also play a part in the cognitive challenges as well. This was however an older study and current clinical trial evidence to support the use of CBD is minimal.
More research out of Brazil suggests CBD can improve the overall quality of life of those with Parkinson’s disease. In a sample of 21 patients, those who were treated with 75 mg to 300 mg of CBD per day reported a significant increase in quality of life, though no significant differences were noted in motor and general symptoms or neuroprotective effects. This goes to show how much results can vary when it comes to the effects of CBD, requiring larger studies to be done in order to get more definitive answers to this treatment option.
Uses and Safety
Parkinson’s disease can impact cognitive function and memory, particularly in those whose symptoms progress to Parkinson’s disease dementia. Because of this, medical marijuana with both THC and CBD may not be recommended, as it can impair thinking and brain function even more so. CBD by itself may be a safer route.
CBD has been discovered as an effective way to help treat Parkinson’s disease symptoms because it interacts with two cannabinoid receptors in the body found on certain cells called CB1 and CB2. By interacting with one or both of these receptors, CBD may delay tremor development as well as have protective neurological benefits. But as seen with the above studies, there is no uniform approach or conclusion on this treatment method. This means that patients may react differently to using CBD, some having tremendous success while others seeing little difference. But regardless of whether or not CBD is an effective treatment option for you, you always need to consult your treating physician to make sure this treatment will not cause side effects.
What can cause side effects is if a patient decides to mix medical marijuana with their treatment plan that consists of certain prescription medications. If you plan to use medical marijuana as opposed to CBD by itself, it’s smart to consult a healthcare provider or your pharmacist before you start mixing it in with other medications to make sure it’s safe for you.
Should You Use It?
While the research on CBD to treat Parkinson’s disease symptoms is largely inconclusive, its mild effect on patients as a whole makes it enticing to try in addition to an existing traditional treatment plan. Parkinson’s disease has no cure. But with prescription medication, therapy, and now perhaps the use of nontraditional options like CBD, patients may be able to experience less frequency and severity of symptoms that affect their motor skills.
If you’re interested in trying CBD for Parkinson’s disease, talk to your healthcare provider about it. They will be able to point you to the latest research and provide recommendations on how much you should take. They will also be able to monitor your progress with the rest of your care team in order to come to a conclusion if this is the right treatment plan for you.
5 Best CBD Oil For Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s is a neurological disorder that develops progressively. Early symptoms of the condition include slow movement, inability to smell, tremors among others. This disease can grow to advanced levels leading to reduced arm swing when walking and mobility among other factors.
While there is no clear treatment for Parkinson’s, CBD has come out as a front runner in managing the symptoms related to the condition. Studies in this area are still at very preliminary stages. As a result, anyone using CBD for management of Parkinson’s should be based on a personal basis since it is not yet approved or proven to work.
In this post, I will be looking at CBD for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Keep reading to learn more about the available CBD oils for Parkinson’s and how they compete against each other.
Top 5 CBD Oils for Parkinson’s Disease Patients
One study published by the NCBI has suggested that CBD may be helpful in the treatment and management of CBD. This study does not conclusively show how, but it indicates that CBD may help with muscle movements, a problem caused by Parkinson’s disease.
Below are the top CBD brands that may be used to treat Parkinson’s disease:
- CBD Genesis
- Joy CBD Oil
- Pure CBD
- Spruce CBD
In my review of the top CBD oils for Parkinson’s disease, we use several factors. We look at the quality of oil, its potency, its purity, and the reputation of the brand behind the oil among others.
CBD Genesis Oil
CBD Genesis oil for Parkinson’s disease is one of the best options in the market. It is loved due to its strength and diversity. This oil is produced by one of the most trusted American brands. Being a 100%organic oil made with US-grown hemp, it can be trusted by users.
The full spectrum CBD by CBD genesis comes in 3 potencies. We have the 550mg, 1000mg, and 3000 mg options. All the options are available for purchase on their website.
- Full-spectrum CBD with flavonoids and terpenes for effective action
- American grown hemp is used
- Third-party lab tested product for quality assurance
- Several potency variances for different CBD users
- They only have full-spectrum CBD, which may not be ideal for others
- No flavor variations
USDA Organic Hemplucid Full-Spectrum CBD in Hemp Oil
It doesn’t get better than this. Hemplucid stacks all the best qualities to provide a potent and effective CBD tincture.
Their full-spectrum oil contains a wide variety of terpenes that provides the well known entourage effect.
But unlike most CBD tinctures, Hemplucid can boast an organic oil. If that wasn’t good enough already, their products are all lab tested for utmost transparency.
Give them a try, you won’t be let down.
- Hemp oil includes omegas
- Full Spectrum CBD
- Lab Tested
Active CBD Oil – CBD/MCT Tincture (300 – 2500mg)
This broad-spectrum CBD tincture brings out the entourage effect, while the MCT oil provides a bioavailability boost. The result is a world-class, hemp-derived tincture oil from Active CBD Oil that maximizes potency and therapeutic effects.
Active CBD Oil uses a broad-spectrum hemp extract containing an array of cannabinoids, but zero THC, making it safe for drug tests. Their unflavored and aroma-free tincture is ideal if you need discretion, and they only use non-GMO hemp. Third-party tested and approved.
Sizes available: 300mg (10mg/ml), 1250mg (20.8mg/ml), 2500mg (41.6mg/ml)
- Pure organic oil
- Full-spectrum CBD with terpenes and flavonoids
- Third-party lab tested
- 90 day return period
- Limited variances
- No options for broad-spectrum and CBD isolate
EcoDrops Relief 30ml
One of the best CBD oil for Parkinson’s disease is EcoDrops. This oil is trusted for its quality and potency. The oil comes in one flavor and is produced by one of the most trusted brands in the world.
The oil undergoes a process that makes it more bioavailable according to the manufacturer.
EcoDrops comes in one strength, 1500mg.
- High 1500mg potency
- Extracted from American grown hemp
- Third-party lab tested product
- Full spectrum CBD
- Not available in diverse flavors
Spruce CBD Oil
The fourth product on my list is Spruce CBD Oil. Spruce CBD is a brand that has established itself in producing quality CBD products for various uses. Its CBD oil for Parkinson’s is one of the best in the market. Their oil is 100% natural and does not contain additives. It is extracted from natural American-grown hemp without pesticides.
Spruce CBD Oil comes in a pleasant peppermint flavor. It also comes in two potencies; the 750 mg and the 2400mg per ounce options. With this wide range of CBD, both small and large dosage users have an option.
- Pure organic oil without additives
- Full-spectrum CBD
- Sweet peppermint flavor
- Comes in diverse potencies
- Up to 80mg per serving potency
- Only has one flavor
- No options for broad-spectrum and Isolate CBD
Why is CBD Amazing For Parkinson’s?
CBD oil for Parkinson’s disease is an amazing option for various reasons. The fact that there are no other drugs that can successfully treat this condition makes CBD an amazing alternative. This does not mean that CBD is the only option available for this condition. Parkinson’s disease has some medical options.
Side effects of Parkinson’s disease treatments:
- The available Parkinson’s disease medications are reported to cause medical-related tremors
- Some of the Parkinson’s disease medications are not as effective
- If a person suffering from Parkinson’s disease experiences tremors, they can make the situation worse than it was in the beginning
Due to these challenges, CBD has turned out to be an amazing alternative. Although not yet fully proven to work, a study linking CBD to Parkinson’s disease has given many people suffering from this condition some hope.
Studies That Support Use of CBD for Parkinson’s Disease
Due to the increasing demand for medical solutions to the Parkinson’s disease problem, many researchers have been trying to look at CBD. The available results are not conclusive and cannot be relied on to conclusively say that CBD works. Nonetheless, they show that CBD may be used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.
Studies I have found to support management of Parkinson’s disease:
- A study published by the NCBI found that using cannabis can help improve pain associated with Parkinson’s disease. Although the study was only conducted on 22 individuals and used cannabis, it is an indication that CBD might help.
- A review of animal studies has shown that CBD helps reduce pain and inflammation. These are the two factors that affect people with Parkinson’s disease the most. CBD may therefore be helpful in managing pain associated with Parkinson’s disease.
- A different review of studies has also indicated that CBD alone may help with sleep disturbances. One of the most frustrating symptoms of PD is sleep disturbances. Although this does not prove it can be treated with CBD it shows that may be helpful.
Parkinson’s disease is quite complex and only a few scientists can understand how it works. Studies have tried to find a cure for the condition, but few results have been instrumental. Even as CBD becomes an option for patients, it should be used cautiously. Its use is not based on concrete data but anecdotal evidence.
How to Effectively Use CBD Oil for Parkinson’s
CBD for Parkinson’s disease can be administered in various forms. It depends on the type of CBD you choose to purchase. If you purchase CBD oils like the ones discussed above, they can be applied orally or topically.
Common types of CBD used for Parkinson’s:
- CBD Edibles: These are sweet foods such as gummies that are enriched with CBD. They are often taken as snacks but can be used to administer CBD orally.
- Topical Applications: Topical applications are products such as CBD salves and lotions that can be applied to the skin. This type of CBD may also be used by PD patients.
- CBD Capsules: CBD capsules and tablets are taken orally like is the case with other medical tablets. They can be taken by patients as long as they fall within a person’s dosage range.
The most common way of using CBD is by administering CBD oil. CBD oil can be purchased in small 30ml bottles like the ones discussed above. If you purchase your CBD oil like the ones above you need to take it accordingly. Below are the steps we recommend for Prkinson’s disease.
The steps for using CBD oil for Parkinson’s disease:
- Check expiry date: Before using CBD oil, read the packaging to establish that the oil is yet to expire.
- Shake well: Shaking helps mix the oil to ensure that the compound is well distributed throughout the bottle.
- Measure the drops: Depending on the potency, you may be required to take one or two drops. Measure the drops and drop them under the tongue.
- Hold to absorb: The drops of CBD oil under the tongue should dissolve naturally. Let them penetrate into the skin in about 30 seconds.
The ideal option for those taking CBD for Parkinson’s is oral. This involves dropping the oil under the tongue and giving it time to get absorbed.
Finding Your Dosage
There is no specific CBD dosage. Different people require different doses of CBD. As a result, each person has to find a dosage that works for them.
Steps to follow to determine your CBD dose:
- Find the right brand of CBD and purchase
- Choose a low potency option
- Start at 10mg per day
- Increase it by 5mg per day until you find an effective dose.
Some people can feel the effect of CBD at low doses of 10mg per day while others will require up to 200mg per day.
Full Spectrum vs Isolate
Full-spectrum CBD is a CBD extract that contains terpenes, flavonoids, and other nutrients from the hemp plant. This type of CBD is more effective due to the entourage effect. Isolate CBD does not contain flavonoids, terpenes, or any other cannabinoids.
While full-spectrum CBD is loved due to its effectiveness, it does contain trace amounts of THC. However, the traces are usually below 0.3% as required by law.
CBD is generally and is less likely to cause serious side effects to users. Even so, users should not take it alongside other drugs. It may affect the uptake of drugs.
The other possible side effects of CBD are:
- Weight loss
- Low appetite
These symptoms vary from person to person but are more likely to occur in case of overdose. I recommend taking a rest if you experience fatigue or the immediate side effects.
Where to Buy High-Quality CBD Oil
You have two options when shopping for high-quality CBD for Parkinson’s. The products can be purchased online or at a local store. All high-quality brands have legitimate websites where their products are sold. They also supply products to reputable local vendors.
In either situation, request to see the certificate of third-party lab results, look at labels to determine quality and ingredients used. I only purchase products that have been tested by third-party labs.