Cannabis legalization in most of the world has opened doors for research on the potential of medical marijuana in treating numerous diseases and disorders. Scientists and doctors have proved evidence that shows marijuana may help treat various health conditions, and this has helped push the legalization process of medical use of marijuana in numerous states of the US. Today, a total of 37 states across the US, including the District of Guam, Columbia and Puerto Rico, have legalized the use of medical marijuana.
That being said, it is important to note that using marijuana for medical purposes has advantages and disadvantages for healthcare and the patient. This is why today we’re analyzing the pros and cons of the use of marijuana in treating Parkinson’s disease.
Several recent surveys show that the use of medical marijuana helps manage Parkinson’s symptoms. Before you register for your medical marijuana card, it’s best to consider the pros and cons of administering the drug to treat the condition. So without further ado, here are the pros and cons of using medical marijuana for treating Parkinson’s.
What is Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s disease is a chronic brain condition that affects a patient’s coordination and movement. It is observed that the disease is a result of the death of nerve cells in the area of the brain called the basal ganglia. These nerve cells produce dopamine, which generally helps regulate movement. But with the death of the cells or their inability to function, less dopamine is produced in the body, which results in movement and coordination problems in the patient. This is why Parkinson’s is categorized by balance problems, shaking, trembling, muscle stiffness and slow movements.
Parkinson’s Disease and Medical Marijuana
Marijuana is composed of various neuroactive elements that help produce the effect that marijuana has on our brains. These elements connect with the cannabinoid receptors (Type 1 or CB1 located in the brain and Type 2 or CB2 located in the brain as well as the immune system) to produce varying effects on our mind and body.
There are two types of cannabis elements that interact with these receptors: antagonists and agonists. They attach to the receptors in our body to either halt the production of a certain chemical or increase the production of certain chemicals in our body. Since then, the amount and effect of the elements have varied from cannabis to cannabis and person to person, and it is difficult to deduce the effect of cannabis on Parkinson’s patients. Therefore, we need to analyze the pros and cons of the drug to consider its use.
Marijuana helps with reducing motor symptoms such as trembling, rigidity and bradykinesia in Parkinson’s patients as well non-motor symptoms such as chronic pain and sleep deprivation. The neuroactive element in cannabis called THC plays a key role in improving coordination between the hand and the eye. It helps facilitate REM (Rapid eye movement), which also helps recover sleep disorders in Parkinson’s patients. Moreover, it also has a calming effect on rigidity in limbs as well as on tremors.
However, just like any other medicine, medical marijuana also has some side effects, such as cannabis, which may cause cognitive impairments in a patient. It can affect the patients working memory as well as working memory. Moreover, it is observed that the use of cannabis can be linked to depression and worsened mood swings, which can be a serious problem for people with Parkinson’s patients. Lastly, dependence on drugs is also a potentially problematic adverse effect of the drug that must be considered.
Using Marijuana for Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease is a serious condition, and medical marijuana can be a helpful drug for managing the symptoms of the condition. However, it’s important to note that the impact of the drug may vary from patient to patient. Hence, if you want to get treated using medical marijuana, we suggest you apply for your medical marijuana card first!