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Medical Marijuana for Parkinson’s Disease (PD)

Marijuana And Parkinson's

Parkinson's disease (PD) is an incurable nervous system disorder affecting movement that gradually develops with symptoms that worsen over time. When someone is diagnosed with PD, their brain’s nerve cells have been damaged to the point where their dopamine levels drop significantly, leading to the beginning of Parkinson’s symptoms. Symptoms can vary for individuals and can include tremors, slowed movement or bradykinesia, posture and balance problems, speech and writing changes, rigid muscles, and no automatic movement.

Parkinson's disease and marijuana have been the subject of research studies to investigate their potential connection. Some patients with PD have opted to medicate with both typical over-the-counter prescriptions for Parkinson’s from their provider as well as using medical cannabis. 

Does Marijuana Help Parkinson's Patients?

Marijuana and Parkinson's have been studied together as a potential treatment for symptoms of the disease. For individuals with Parkinson’s, medical cannabis use can improve the overall quality of a patient’s life. Parkinson's disease (PD) patients may choose to treat their symptoms using medical marijuana. Medical marijuana can improve anxiety, insomnia, nausea, weight loss, and pain management associated with PD. However, the relationship between Parkinson's disease and marijuana use is an area of ongoing investigation, as there isn't enough evidence to show that medical marijuana can officially treat the symptoms of PD.

Weed's Effect On Parkinson's

There is some evidence suggesting that cannabis may be beneficial for individuals with Parkinson's disease, and some people use weed for Parkinson's disease symptoms to help manage their condition. Certain cannabis strains have been researched for their potential benefits for people with Parkinson's disease. Tremors associated with Parkinson's disease may potentially be managed with cannabis-based treatments. In some cases, research shows using medical cannabis may delay the onset of PD symptoms. For individuals with Parkinson’s, medical cannabis use can improve the overall quality of a patient’s life; however, it should not be used as a substitute for established treatments.

Is Medical Marijuana Good For Parkinson's Disease?

Parkinson’s has no cure at this time, but there are medications that PD patients can take to ease some symptoms. Medical marijuana for Parkinson's disease is sometimes used as an unofficial treatment. While research is ongoing, there is some indication that cannabis may provide relief for those with Parkinson's disease. Some Parkinson’s patients noticed non-motor symptoms improving with the use of medical marijuana. 

In Illinois, it is legal to medicate with marijuana for Parkinson’s disease. As a qualifying medical condition, Parkinson’s patients can apply for a medical marijuana card to purchase cannabis from a licensed Illinois medical marijuana dispensary.

**This information about marijuana for PD should not replace professional medical advice. Please consult your physician before using medical cannabis for Parkinson’s disease.

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