Parkinson’s disease is a condition that affects many people across the country everyday. Recent statistics show that there are approximately just over 100, 000 Canadians currently living with Parkinson’s disease. Every year, over 6000 new cases of Parkinson’s disease is diagnosed in Canada. The majority of those diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease are over the age of retirement, however cases of Parkinson’s disease in people who are under the age of 60 are not uncommon.
Parkinson’s disease falls under an umbrella of motor system disorders. Voluntary and involuntary movements of those diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease are affected. This is because our movements rely on a chemical called dopamine to transfer the message from the nerves to the brain. When cells that are responsible for creating dopamine begin to die and not function correctly, the early symptoms of Parkinson’s disease will surface.
Some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include tremors, muscle stiffness, difficulty with handwriting, balance issues, poor posture and soft or slowed speech.
While there are medications available to manage the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, there is currently no known cure for the condition. It has been suggested through the years that the use of cannabis on patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease can have a positive outcome with regards to the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
Studies out of the USA done on animals suggested that cannabinoids (properties found in cannabis) may have neuro-protective effects on models of Parkinson’s disease. Animal studies also suggest that cannabinoids may improve some of the motor related symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
The literature on the outcomes of cannabis for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease is varied. There is a large amount of anecdotal evidence that cannabis can be used to minimize the symptoms associated with Parkinson’s. While there are many patient testimonials that exist who have confirmed positive results and a decrease in Parkinson’s related symptoms, more clinical studies on the subject that meet the gold standard for clinical trials are still being done today.
Speak with your doctor before starting any new medications. Medicinal cannabis is not suited for everyone. If you feel that you may be suited for medicinal cannabis for your medical condition speak with you primary care physician about the potential risks and benefits of medicinal cannabis on your overall condition.