Parkinson’s Disease and Medical Marijuana

Evidence favoring medical marijuana against Parkinson’s disease

There is innumerable evidence supporting efficacy of medical marijuana in treatment of several diseases including Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative neurological disorder. While these evidences include self reported claims from patients, there are nonetheless, numerous published scientific studies that suggest medical marijuana may have medical value in treating patients with Parkinson’s disease.

Although anti-marijuana professionals are often heard to say that more research on medical effectiveness of marijuana is needed, it would be misleading to conclude that a plethora of research has not already been done. An article in a scientific peer reviewed journal (Journal of Opioid Management) makes a 2009 round up of clinical evidences for the efficacy of medical marijuana. This article documents 33 controlled clinical trials from 1971 to 2009 conclude in favor of safety and efficacy of medical marijuana against a range of medical conditions. Additionally, as for the subjects receiving the treatments, all the clinical trials in the U.S have gone on to show benefits to the patients.

According to a survey conducted by a neurologist Dr Evin Ruzicka, nearly half of the Parkinson’s patients receiving medical marijuana treatment reported that the drug relieved their symptoms. While the 630 patients were subjected to the questionnaire, the return rate was 54 percent, that is 339 responses were received in all. Their average age was 66 and they had Parkinson’s for 9 years on average. Of the 25 percent reporting having used cannabis, 39 patients, that is, 46 percent, reported relief in Parkinson’s symptoms including tremor, bradykinesia, muscle rigidity, and dyskinesias. Dr Ruzicka and colleagues are planning to take their research ahead to identify the relationship between cannabis use and relief in symptoms of Parkinson’s disease in collaboration with scientists from the U.K.

Typically, the current treatments for Parkinson’s attempt to address dopamine production in the brain or to obstruct the dopamine metabolic breakdown and to activate the dopamine receptors. However, none of these therapies with their unique advantages and disadvantages are indefinite remedial strategies against long term side effects. The adjunct therapies using drugs that interact with endocannabinoid system, nonetheless, have gained the attention of the researchers. In fact as early as late 1800s, cannabis was the preferred treatment against tremor symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease.

According to, the neurodegeneration of certain brain cells can be countered with cannabis to control tremor because of their powerful anti-oxidant properties. The therapeutic properties of medical marijuana evidenced against Parkinson’s Disease follows from the components available in them including anadamide and 2-AG among others, also found in certain specific brain regions. This is the reason cannabis is claimed to be endowed with neuroprotective properties and hence found effective against several neurological disorders including Parkinson’s disease.

In other words marijuana like chemicals, according to researchers can be used to treat neurological disorders including Parkinson’s disease. For instance, anadamine is the chemical that regulates coordination and body movements and evidenced to limit brain activity among rats. The nerve cells stimulate dopamine, the message carrying chemical in the brain that stimulates motor behavior, while anadamine can keep undue movements associated with dopamine in check, as uncontrolled production of dopamine is known to lead to several neurological disorders.

Evidently, soon enough medical marijuana will not only be likely legitimized but further research into its effectiveness can hopefully bring about revolutionary treatments for a range of neurological disorders including Parkinson’s disease.