How CBD Works - How does CBD work for Parkinson’s
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50,000 new people a year in the US are scrambling to know.
That’s the number of new diagnoses for Parkinson’s.
That is what we’re up against!
Interesting new research is shedding a light on a potential pathway that CBD is known to directly influence (for the better).
For those who don’t know, the appendicitis is where the appendix is removed.
Long thought to be unneeded or to use the scientific term, vestigial organ, researchers finally discovered the purpose of the appendix which lies at a cul-de-sac in the digestive tract.
It was a reservoir of bacteria or gut flora which could re-populate our gut in case the gut bacteria were wiped out (by disease, outside bacteria/viruses, or in modern times…antibiotics!).
The tie with Parkinson’s is fascinating.
Parkinson’s after all is affecting neurons deep within the brain.
We’ll get into that below but we may need to partially add Parkinson’s to the long list of autoimmune diseases.
Get in line!!
Furthermore, why are men more likely to get it than women?
At almost double the ratio!
That points to a hormonal influence and Estrogen has been implicated by research as a protective agent.
Not be glib but the ratio is usually flipped for autoimmune towards women.
So we have an immune system and hormonal influences.
That’s right in CBD’s wheelhouse!
Let’s look at new research Parkinson’s, and the endocannabinoid system (with CBD being a guest star).
You can jump right to 3rd party safety and cost screened CBD here:
Otherwise, let’s dig deeper:
Let’s get started.
Time…is of the essence!
First, Parkinson’s results from a reduction in the neurons that release Dopamine.
Dopamine is usually known for its role in mediating reward but it’s much more than that.
It’s also intimately involved in the control of motion and motor skills.
It helps different parts of the brain communicate with each other.
Parkinson’s generally displays itself with effects on movement such as tremors or lack of body control.
Again, Dopamine is a big player in the mood game.
The mainstay of treatment has been Lepodova which the implicated neurons can turn into dopamine.
The problem is that the brain segment continues to deteriorate which leaves fewer neurons to use the Lepodova.
There are many factors that can impact risk for Parkinson’s including:
The latter is most intriguing as of late.
Let’s start there.
Some hard evidence is coming in that points to our immune system’s potential role in Parkinson’s.
It may not be the full picture but it’s definitely adding color.
A group of scientists found a specific type of T-Cell which responded to the protein signature of Parkinson’s, alpha-synuclein.
The fact that the immune system is targeting these proteins is important.
The “damage” that usually accompanies autoimmune diseases results from the collateral damage of our immune response to specific areas of the body.
In this case, it’s where the dopamine-producing neurons reside in the brain.
Think of a skin infection.
Yes, the body is attacking the bacterial infection in our skin but the surrounding issue all takes a tremendous amount of damage.
That’s the redness, pain, and swelling in the surrounding area.
Now picture that in your brain where dopamine is made.
Very destructive over longer periods of time.
Let’s add to that another interesting clue.
People who took anti-autoimmune medications (primarily of the anti-inflammatory flavor) earlier in life had a significantly reduced risk of getting Parkinson’s.
This effect is even seen in NSAIDs earlier in life although they carry other negatives.
Further clues to an autoimmune connection.
We’re also starting to finally narrow down the genes that may cause a higher risk for Parkinson’s.
Guess what they control???
Furthermore, autopsies are showing antigens in the neurons under attack.
Antigens are the targets that our immune system goes after.
Scientists didn’t think the brain had antigens but again…there’s new insight all the time.
We’ll hold there and come back around when we look at CBD and the endocannabinoid system.
Let’s look at hormones.
The gender risk difference for Parkinson’s points to a hormonal effect.
One of the three estrogens, estradiol, appears to be very neuroprotective.
The research is coming fast and furious.
There’s a great synopsis here:
Some key take-aways:
This was primarily a study of bioidentical hormone replacement’s effects on Parkinson’s.
Make sure to check out our CBD and Perimenopause article to understand just how important maintaining hormone levels can be.
Its effect on Parkinson’s is no exception.
They have found a direct mechanism on Estrogen’s effect here:
This gets a little deep in the weeds but essentially, there’s a chemical cascading effect from the reduction in estrogen that results in inflammation in the area where the brain makes dopamine.
It’s not just Parkinson’s.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s are equally impacted.
We’ll leave you with this:
I don’t know if we could have put it more succinctly if we tried.
Women obviously have a lifetime of exposure to estrogen.
Much more so than men which speaks to the different risks by gender.
You can read up on CBD and Dementia Alzheimer’s here.
Now…the reason we’re here, to begin with.
Before we jump into CBD, let’s talk about the system that it operates in.
The endocannabinoid system.
We all have one and by all, I mean all the way down to sea urchins.
It’s been around for about 600 million years but researchers are only really teasing out what it does now.
Here’s a quick image:
Its primary role is to help balance:
Two of those are right in the crosshair of current Parkinson’s research.
The first question…are endocannabinoid receptors in the area of question?
This also explains it’s effect on two mood issues that commonly accompany Parkinson’s: Anxiety and Depression.
GABA is key to both…especially Anxiety as it’s the calming neurotransmitter.
The system appears to help manage new cell creation and the so-called “brain plasticity”.
This is the ability of the brain to change over time.
To enact this change, new neurons and brain connections must be made.
The endocannabinoid system appears to be key to this process.
Since Parkinson’s is a disease of neuron loss due to inflammation, this is a key role to look at.
Speaking of inflammation, the endocannabinoid is showing great promise to help calm this activity…even in the brain.
Check out CBD and Inflammation article for more detail.
The article above points to the endocannabinoid’s system functioning in the correct area of the brain.
Furthermore, the system is implicated in Parkinson’s disease itself:
Again, dysregulation of the endocannabinoid system is implicated in the inflammation and immune response tied to the disease as well.
So…what about CBD?
CBD is a plant-based cannabinoid that can interact directly with the endocannabinoid system we have in our bodies.
It’s derived from hemp and is generally the largest cannabinoid by volume along with THC.
You can learn about CBD versus THC here.
CBD is a very popular target for research however due to its safety profile and lack of psychoactivity.
What about CBD and Parkinson’s?
Research is just ramping up (finally) but some preliminary data is encouraging.
We’ve covered in-depth how CBD works with the different facets of Parkison’s here:
Let’s look at specific research on CBD itself with Parkinson’s as all three facets above show strong results you can read about there.
First, treatment with 300mg of CBD:
PDQ-39 is a questionnaire that patients complete on their symptoms.
There was further good news for CBD with psychosis associated with Parkinson’s:
More data from animal models on CBD’s effect for its neuroprotective abilities on the neurons in question (dopamine-producing in the substantia nigra).
Furthermore, CBD has been shown to influence the critical cycle of cell growth and death:
There’s a new range of research on mitochondria (our cell’s power plants) and Parkinson’s.
CBD is showing a positive effect here which has far-reaching results all the way to aging in general:
You can see a range of different studies on CBD and similarly-derived cannabinoids here:
An interesting note…the studies with CBD by itself is showing positive outcomes.
Check out the article on CBD and mitochondria here.
The studies with CBD and THC (unless with a very high CBD ratio) or synthetic cannabinoids are not doing as well.
This points to the gut-brain interaction and it’s why we’re big proponents of CBD isolate!
Also, haven’t we seen this show before?
Not only does synthetic not work as well…there are generally knock-on effects that can actually make it dangerous!
All in the name of patenting it (in our humble opinion).
Stick with CBD isolate from the plant with 3rd party testing (more on that below).
You can access dozens of studies at the bottom of this page:
What’s the recommended CBD dosage for Parkinson’s?
The baseline studies generally start with 300mg above.
It makes sense to start lower to test your body’s response.
CBD has been tested up to 1500mg with a strong safety profile.
Learn more about CBD safety here.
Obviously, Parkinson’s is serious which points to a higher dosage.
Work with your doctor as CBD uses the same liver pathway as many other drugs.
Please let us know your CBD results so we can publish them anonymously.
Let’s help each other!
A few caveats here.
We want the cleanest CBD available.
It must be a 3rd party tested to be free of:
There’s a whole debate on CBD isolate versus Full Spectrum, which has other plant material in the oil.
Problem is that the research is based on CBD.
Not full spectrum!!
The extra “plant” material in full-spectrum might cause more harm than good for these people.
We recommend sticking with CBD isolate in MCT oil (not hemp oil) for this reason.
We would hate people to have adverse effects and miss out on the benefits of CBD!
You can check out top CBD brands with safety testing and ranked by cost per mg of CBD here:
CBD oil is generally the most popular.
2000 mg of CBD+ per bottle is recommended.
You can see the safety screened CBD by price value here:
Let us know what your results are and we’ll publish them here.
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