Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurological disorder of the central nervous system that affects the parts of the body controlled by the nerves and typically appears after the age of 60. In specific, brain cells that produce the neurotransmitter called dopamine, which is responsible for sending messages to the body about movement, decay and die. This leads to a variety of movement problems that can include tremors, lack of facial expression, difficulty balancing, and muscle stiffness.
In addition, Parkinson’s disease can develop into Parkinson’s dementia (PDD), which affects cognitive functions, such as the ability to remember things, make good decisions, and pay attention. People with PD and PDD often seek treatment in the form of prescribed medication in order to relieve symptoms, often with severe side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, blurred vision, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, dry mouth, loss of appetite, heartburn, and more. In response, multiple studies demonstrate the therapeutic effects of CBD in people with Parkinson’s disease.
As PD affects the brain’s ability to produce dopamine, it was a breakthrough when researchers from the University of Louisville, Kentucky, discovered that CBD acts as an “inverse agonist” on CPR6 receptors located primarily in the basal ganglia region of the brain. This region connects to the cerebral cortex and brainstem and drives body functions such as movement, learning and emotion. So, their discovery implied that CBD could respond within the receptors and have therapeutic effects against the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
Cannabinoid receptors function throughout our body as part of the endocannabinoid system that regulates physiological functions including hunger, pain sensitivity, memory and mood. These natural receptors are affected in Parkinson’s patients. CBD has been proven to relieve tremors, psychosis and sleep problems. CBD can also reduce depression and anxiety and relieve pain. According to studies, CBD is effective in treating the psychosis that comes with PDD.