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What some experts say about medical marijuana and CBD

The second most common cannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD), doesn't cause mind-altering effects and could potentially have beneficial effects for treating disease.

In general, trials show mixed results (some positive, some negative), which leaves patients, doctors and researchers with insufficient evidence that medical marijuana and cannabinoids are an effective treatment for Parkinson's.

If you're considering medical marijuana, you and your doctor should weigh the potential benefits and risks, just as you would with any therapy. In low doses, cannabinoids appear to be relatively well tolerated. But like any other drug, medical marijuana has potential side effects. These may include nausea, dizziness, weakness, hallucinations, and mood, behavior or memory/thinking (cognitive) changes. Discuss possible influences on cognition, mood and balance, especially if you are already experiencing changes in these areas. It's unclear how and to what extent marijuana could exacerbate these symptoms.

The potential for drug interactions between marijuana and prescription or over-the-counter medications is largely unknown, but adding marijuana to a complex regimen of medications could present a risk. As when adding any new therapy, review all your medications with your doctor and pharmacist.

Despite some promising preclinical findings, researchers have not found any meaningful or conclusive benefits of cannabis for people with PD.

Researchers issue caution for people with PD who use cannabis because of its effect on thinking. PD can impair the executive function — the ability to make plans and limit risky behavior. People with a medical condition that impairs executive function should be cautious about using any medication that can compound this effect.

Using CBD oil to treat symptoms of Parkinson’s is becoming more and more common; however, the lack of oversight and inconsistency from batch to batch are big problems.

The biggest hurdle for CBD studies is that there’s no monetary support – unlike the money that big pharma companies get

If you want to experiment with CBD oil, make sure that you tell all of your providers about it because there can be serious drug interactions and be aware that each batch you get can be very different

There are two species of cannabis – marijuana (15-40% THC) and hemp (.3% THC)

THC is what produces the high

CBD oil that is derived from hemp is legal in all 50 states

CBD oil that is derived from marijuana is not legal in every state.

There’s new research being done on CBD oil so keep an eye out for it

As with every therapy you try to treat your Parkinson’s symptoms, be sure to consult with your doctor, movement disorder specialist, neurologist and everyone on your care team. Anecdotal evidence is great; however, not everything works the same for everyone. Do your due diligence and make sure all of your experimentation is under the direct and frequent supervision of your doctors.



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