My Experience Using CBD Oil for Parkinson’s Symptoms
One of the most difficult decisions a person with Parkinson’s disease (PD) will face is deciding what medications to use to treat the disease.
The choice is a function of several factors including the specific symptoms being treated, the medication’s efficacy, and cost.
I was prescribed levodopa
The medication most people with Parkinson’s end up taking at some point is levodopa, which is the gold standard for treating Parkinson’s. It was developed in the late 60s. It is sometimes used for diagnostic purposes.
I was prescribed levodopa and was told that if it provided relief from my initial symptoms, that there was a good chance I had PD. Otherwise, there was a good chance that I didn’t have PD but, possibly something worse.
I remember thinking “while I want relief from my symptoms, I don’t want a diagnosis of PD.” Unfortunately, I couldn’t have it both ways. If I found relief (which I did) there was an excellent chance that I had PD (which I do).
Trying different medications
After my diagnosis, the next challenge was deciding how to treat my disease. I found out very quickly that there didn’t seem to be a consensus on when one should start levodopa as opposed to other medications, like Azilect.
The concern was that starting levodopa treatment early in one’s treatment would increase the risk of dyskinesia. I decided to continue using levodopa since it was providing me with much-needed relief from my symptoms.
Over time, I’ve tried other medications either in combination with or in place of levodopa like Azilect, Stalevo, entacapone, and amantadine. Due to the side effects or the drug’s ineffectiveness, I stopped taking all of these except the amantadine.
I continue taking levodopa but have switched to Rytary which is the extended-release version of levodopa. I have also had deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery due to the dyskinesia I experienced with levodopa.
Using dietary supplements
I have also used dietary supplements like CoQ10 but did not find it to make any difference. I’ve also considered alternative medications like medical marijuana which recently became legal in my state.
Unfortunately, there has not been much research on how effective marijuana is in treating PD symptoms. The few trials that have been conducted have shown that medical marijuana may treat problems with both motor and non-motor symptoms, but more research needs to be done.
What are cannabinoids?
Marijuana contains many compounds called cannabinoids. The main cannabinoid is THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) which causes the “high” the user experiences with marijuana. Another cannabinoid is CBD or cannabidiol which doesn’t cause the “high” that THC does.
These cannabinoids come in various forms from dried leaves that can be smoked, oil that is sprayed under the tongue, and pills that can be swallowed. There are even CBD gummy bears.
CBD can be expensive and isn’t covered by insurance. The FDA has not approved medical marijuana and classifies it as a Schedule 1 drug which is a drug that has been found to have no acceptable medical use and a high potential for abuse.
This is one of the reasons why more research has not been done and why organizations like the MJF Foundation have called for a reclassification of marijuana.
Where is it legal?
While illegal at the federal level, medical marijuana is legal in 33 states and the District of Columbia for certain conditions.
In some states, Parkinson’s disease is one of these conditions. However, state laws vary in the conditions the medical marijuana can be used for, the formulations allowed and whether physician certification is required.
By federal law, physicians cannot prescribe marijuana or cannabinoids. In states that require certification from a qualified physician, it can be challenging to find a qualified doctor since many physicians elect not to apply for certification.
CBD for my symptoms
I decided to use CBD oil to find out what, if any, benefit it provides. I was hesitant at first due to the high cost and lack of evidence beyond some anecdotal evidence that it does help relieve a few motor (tremor, slowness, stiffness) and non-motor symptoms (sleep, pain, anxiety.
After only a few days, it wasn’t evident that it was providing any benefit. I was hoping it would relieve pain due to stiffness. Perhaps it takes more than a few days and/or a dosage change. I plan to finish the bottle I have before deciding whether to continue using it.
The future of medical marijuana
With more states legalizing it, there will continue to be a large demand for medical marijuana. Hopefully, well designed, large scale research is forthcoming.
According to Rachel Dolhun, MD Vice President, Medical Communications at the Michael J Fox Foundation, “The work to date on marijuana and cannabinoids has given promising but conflicting signals on potential benefit for motor and non-motor symptoms as well as levodopa-induced dyskinesia. This therapy may represent a future treatment option for PD, but the correct dose and formulation are not clear, full side effects and drug interactions are unknown, and benefits have not been rigorously determined.” 1
In the meantime, PWP will have to rely on anecdotal evidence on whether medical marijuana is an effective treatment for Parkinson’s.
5 Best CBD Oil For Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s is a neurological disorder that develops progressively. Early symptoms of the condition include slow movement, inability to smell, tremors among others. This disease can grow to advanced levels leading to reduced arm swing when walking and mobility among other factors.
While there is no clear treatment for Parkinson’s, CBD has come out as a front runner in managing the symptoms related to the condition. Studies in this area are still at very preliminary stages. As a result, anyone using CBD for management of Parkinson’s should be based on a personal basis since it is not yet approved or proven to work.
In this post, I will be looking at CBD for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Keep reading to learn more about the available CBD oils for Parkinson’s and how they compete against each other.
Top 5 CBD Oils for Parkinson’s Disease Patients
One study published by the NCBI has suggested that CBD may be helpful in the treatment and management of CBD. This study does not conclusively show how, but it indicates that CBD may help with muscle movements, a problem caused by Parkinson’s disease.
Below are the top CBD brands that may be used to treat Parkinson’s disease:
- CBD Genesis
- Joy CBD Oil
- Pure CBD
- Spruce CBD
In my review of the top CBD oils for Parkinson’s disease, we use several factors. We look at the quality of oil, its potency, its purity, and the reputation of the brand behind the oil among others.
CBD Genesis Oil
CBD Genesis oil for Parkinson’s disease is one of the best options in the market. It is loved due to its strength and diversity. This oil is produced by one of the most trusted American brands. Being a 100%organic oil made with US-grown hemp, it can be trusted by users.
The full spectrum CBD by CBD genesis comes in 3 potencies. We have the 550mg, 1000mg, and 3000 mg options. All the options are available for purchase on their website.
- Full-spectrum CBD with flavonoids and terpenes for effective action
- American grown hemp is used
- Third-party lab tested product for quality assurance
- Several potency variances for different CBD users
- They only have full-spectrum CBD, which may not be ideal for others
- No flavor variations
USDA Organic Hemplucid Full-Spectrum CBD in Hemp Oil
It doesn’t get better than this. Hemplucid stacks all the best qualities to provide a potent and effective CBD tincture.
Their full-spectrum oil contains a wide variety of terpenes that provides the well known entourage effect.
But unlike most CBD tinctures, Hemplucid can boast an organic oil. If that wasn’t good enough already, their products are all lab tested for utmost transparency.
Give them a try, you won’t be let down.
- Hemp oil includes omegas
- Full Spectrum CBD
- Lab Tested
Active CBD Oil – CBD/MCT Tincture (300 – 2500mg)
This broad-spectrum CBD tincture brings out the entourage effect, while the MCT oil provides a bioavailability boost. The result is a world-class, hemp-derived tincture oil from Active CBD Oil that maximizes potency and therapeutic effects.
Active CBD Oil uses a broad-spectrum hemp extract containing an array of cannabinoids, but zero THC, making it safe for drug tests. Their unflavored and aroma-free tincture is ideal if you need discretion, and they only use non-GMO hemp. Third-party tested and approved.
Sizes available: 300mg (10mg/ml), 1250mg (20.8mg/ml), 2500mg (41.6mg/ml)
- Pure organic oil
- Full-spectrum CBD with terpenes and flavonoids
- Third-party lab tested
- 90 day return period
- Limited variances
- No options for broad-spectrum and CBD isolate
EcoDrops Relief 30ml
One of the best CBD oil for Parkinson’s disease is EcoDrops. This oil is trusted for its quality and potency. The oil comes in one flavor and is produced by one of the most trusted brands in the world.
The oil undergoes a process that makes it more bioavailable according to the manufacturer.
EcoDrops comes in one strength, 1500mg.
- High 1500mg potency
- Extracted from American grown hemp
- Third-party lab tested product
- Full spectrum CBD
- Not available in diverse flavors
Spruce CBD Oil
The fourth product on my list is Spruce CBD Oil. Spruce CBD is a brand that has established itself in producing quality CBD products for various uses. Its CBD oil for Parkinson’s is one of the best in the market. Their oil is 100% natural and does not contain additives. It is extracted from natural American-grown hemp without pesticides.
Spruce CBD Oil comes in a pleasant peppermint flavor. It also comes in two potencies; the 750 mg and the 2400mg per ounce options. With this wide range of CBD, both small and large dosage users have an option.
- Pure organic oil without additives
- Full-spectrum CBD
- Sweet peppermint flavor
- Comes in diverse potencies
- Up to 80mg per serving potency
- Only has one flavor
- No options for broad-spectrum and Isolate CBD
Why is CBD Amazing For Parkinson’s?
CBD oil for Parkinson’s disease is an amazing option for various reasons. The fact that there are no other drugs that can successfully treat this condition makes CBD an amazing alternative. This does not mean that CBD is the only option available for this condition. Parkinson’s disease has some medical options.
Side effects of Parkinson’s disease treatments:
- The available Parkinson’s disease medications are reported to cause medical-related tremors
- Some of the Parkinson’s disease medications are not as effective
- If a person suffering from Parkinson’s disease experiences tremors, they can make the situation worse than it was in the beginning
Due to these challenges, CBD has turned out to be an amazing alternative. Although not yet fully proven to work, a study linking CBD to Parkinson’s disease has given many people suffering from this condition some hope.
Studies That Support Use of CBD for Parkinson’s Disease
Due to the increasing demand for medical solutions to the Parkinson’s disease problem, many researchers have been trying to look at CBD. The available results are not conclusive and cannot be relied on to conclusively say that CBD works. Nonetheless, they show that CBD may be used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.
Studies I have found to support management of Parkinson’s disease:
- A study published by the NCBI found that using cannabis can help improve pain associated with Parkinson’s disease. Although the study was only conducted on 22 individuals and used cannabis, it is an indication that CBD might help.
- A review of animal studies has shown that CBD helps reduce pain and inflammation. These are the two factors that affect people with Parkinson’s disease the most. CBD may therefore be helpful in managing pain associated with Parkinson’s disease.
- A different review of studies has also indicated that CBD alone may help with sleep disturbances. One of the most frustrating symptoms of PD is sleep disturbances. Although this does not prove it can be treated with CBD it shows that may be helpful.
Parkinson’s disease is quite complex and only a few scientists can understand how it works. Studies have tried to find a cure for the condition, but few results have been instrumental. Even as CBD becomes an option for patients, it should be used cautiously. Its use is not based on concrete data but anecdotal evidence.
How to Effectively Use CBD Oil for Parkinson’s
CBD for Parkinson’s disease can be administered in various forms. It depends on the type of CBD you choose to purchase. If you purchase CBD oils like the ones discussed above, they can be applied orally or topically.
Common types of CBD used for Parkinson’s:
- CBD Edibles: These are sweet foods such as gummies that are enriched with CBD. They are often taken as snacks but can be used to administer CBD orally.
- Topical Applications: Topical applications are products such as CBD salves and lotions that can be applied to the skin. This type of CBD may also be used by PD patients.
- CBD Capsules: CBD capsules and tablets are taken orally like is the case with other medical tablets. They can be taken by patients as long as they fall within a person’s dosage range.
The most common way of using CBD is by administering CBD oil. CBD oil can be purchased in small 30ml bottles like the ones discussed above. If you purchase your CBD oil like the ones above you need to take it accordingly. Below are the steps we recommend for Prkinson’s disease.
The steps for using CBD oil for Parkinson’s disease:
- Check expiry date: Before using CBD oil, read the packaging to establish that the oil is yet to expire.
- Shake well: Shaking helps mix the oil to ensure that the compound is well distributed throughout the bottle.
- Measure the drops: Depending on the potency, you may be required to take one or two drops. Measure the drops and drop them under the tongue.
- Hold to absorb: The drops of CBD oil under the tongue should dissolve naturally. Let them penetrate into the skin in about 30 seconds.
The ideal option for those taking CBD for Parkinson’s is oral. This involves dropping the oil under the tongue and giving it time to get absorbed.
Finding Your Dosage
There is no specific CBD dosage. Different people require different doses of CBD. As a result, each person has to find a dosage that works for them.
Steps to follow to determine your CBD dose:
- Find the right brand of CBD and purchase
- Choose a low potency option
- Start at 10mg per day
- Increase it by 5mg per day until you find an effective dose.
Some people can feel the effect of CBD at low doses of 10mg per day while others will require up to 200mg per day.
Full Spectrum vs Isolate
Full-spectrum CBD is a CBD extract that contains terpenes, flavonoids, and other nutrients from the hemp plant. This type of CBD is more effective due to the entourage effect. Isolate CBD does not contain flavonoids, terpenes, or any other cannabinoids.
While full-spectrum CBD is loved due to its effectiveness, it does contain trace amounts of THC. However, the traces are usually below 0.3% as required by law.
CBD is generally and is less likely to cause serious side effects to users. Even so, users should not take it alongside other drugs. It may affect the uptake of drugs.
The other possible side effects of CBD are:
- Weight loss
- Low appetite
These symptoms vary from person to person but are more likely to occur in case of overdose. I recommend taking a rest if you experience fatigue or the immediate side effects.
Where to Buy High-Quality CBD Oil
You have two options when shopping for high-quality CBD for Parkinson’s. The products can be purchased online or at a local store. All high-quality brands have legitimate websites where their products are sold. They also supply products to reputable local vendors.
In either situation, request to see the certificate of third-party lab results, look at labels to determine quality and ingredients used. I only purchase products that have been tested by third-party labs.