Researchers have uncovered definite proof that cannabis can be effective at alleviating the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. The neurodegenerative disorder, which was first identified in 1872 by James Parkinson, affects nearly one million Americans. Figures show that at least 6,000 individuals are diagnosed with the disorder every year.
The disease causes certain parts of the brain to degenerate, causing symptoms such as impaired coordination and balance, slow movements, muscle stiffness and tremors in the legs, hands, arms and jaws. More than a century after the disease was first identified, we still haven’t found an effective cure, relying instead on treatments that can reduce the symptoms and improve the quality of life of affected patients.
However, many of these medications tend to leave patients with several side effects, including low blood pressure, nausea, hallucinations, behavioral issues and involuntary movements.
A recent survey of German Parkinson’s patients has revealed that more than one-half of the participants saw benefits after taking part in cannabis clinical trials. The study, whose findings were reported in the “Journal of Parkinson’s Disease,” found that 54% of Parkinson’s patients who use certain cannabis strains tolerated the drug well and saw an overall positive impact. More than 40% said that cannabis treatment alleviated muscle cramps and pain while more than 20% reported that taking cannabis reduced anxiety, stiffness, tremors and restless legs as well as feeling cold.
The study’s lead researcher, Carsten Buhmann, noted that although patients with Parkinson’s disorder (PD) were interested in cannabis treatments, they often lacked relevant knowledge on cannabinoids and which ones they should take.
A different survey revealed that some PD patients already consume marijuana at least once a day. The survey was conducted by the Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) via the Fox Insight platform, with researchers from the University of Colorado asking participants about the type of marijuana products they take, the amount of THC and CBD those products contained, how long they had been medicating with cannabis and their consumption frequency.
Of the nearly 1,900 patients who were polled, more than 70% said that they consume cannabis, usually orally, at least once a day. Almost 50% of the participants used high-CBD products, 15% took products with equal amounts of CBD and THC, and some weren’t sure about the type of marijuana products they consumed.
Plenty of the patients revealed that cannabis had helped to reduce their pain, agitation and anxiety, as well as helping with sleep.
Another survey from 2022 showed that PD patients who used high-THC products reported reductions in tremors, depression and nausea as well as improved appetite. Researchers from the 2022 survey concluded that cannabis showed promise as a natural treatment for Parkinson’s disease and called for more rigorous and controlled studies.
There are many more beneficial effects of marijuana that are yet to be documented by the scientific community, and you can bet that as these benefits are discovered, the market served by licensed companies such as Flora Growth Corp. (NASDAQ: FLGC) will continue to grow.
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