Can Medical Cannabis Help Patients with Parkinson’s Disease?
Now that the social stigma surrounding medical cannabis, and cannabis in general, is slowly but surely dying down, scientists are looking for new ways to improve the health of those in need — particularly, Parkinson’s disease patients.
For instance, in Germany, there’s already a plethora of CBD (cannabidiol) — the non-psychoactive part of the plant — products you can get from any legitimate pharmacy, and even online.
However, for products containing THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) — the psychoactive substance in cannabis that gets you “high” — you need a prescription, which you get only if previous therapies were not successful.
That’s why in April 2019, a questionnaire-based survey was conducted among the members of the German Parkinson Association — one of the largest organizations of its kind in German-speaking countries (over 21,000 members) — as well as the investigators’ clinic.
Namely, investigators wanted to examine the difference in the perception of the patients that have and haven’t consumed cannabis products before, and whether it helped them with their illness.
After analyzing over 1,300 results, researchers found out that the interest in medical cannabis was quite high among PD patients, contrary to their initial assumptions.
According to the survey, 8% of PD patients used medical cannabis, of which 54% reported positive clinical effects. Moreover, around 40% said that medical cannabis helped them with muscle pain and cramps, and 20% reported an improvement in stiffness, freezing, tremor, depression, anxiety, and more.
In addition, 51% of patients knew that medical cannabis was, in fact, legal, while 28% were aware of the different ways of administering it. Yet, merely 9% of the testees understood the difference between THC and CBD.