Medical marijuana and Huntington’s disease
Medical marijuana refers to extracts from the plant cannabis which can be recommended by a physician as a form of medicine in some States. Cannabis plant has long been used as a form of medicine to treat various diseases. However, there had never been studies into the possibility of it being used as a therapeutic option for Huntington’s disease. Of late however, studies that have been carried out show some encouraging outcomes using medical marijuana for Huntington’s, Several different studies have indicated that medical marijuana may have some benefit as part of a treatment program for this devastating disease.
Huntington’s disease is an autosomal-dominant inherited disease. Don’t worry much about that preceding statement if you are not a geneticist.
The Huntingtin gene provides the genetic information for a protein that is also called “huntingtin”. Expansion of a CAG triplet repeat stretch within the Huntingtin gene results in a different (mutant) form of the protein, which gradually damages cells in the brain.
There are several other effects. One may want to ask, how does medical marijuana provide relief to Huntington’s disease? Well, there could be several ways through which it does so, but let’s have a look at some of the studies that have been carried out so that we may get a view of how cannabis extracts work in our bodies.
A study carried out by Karl, MD and Joseph Friedman, MD showed that marijuana provide psychological and physical relief from Huntington’s disease symptoms. Other studies however have not been focusing on the physical and psychological symptoms; rather they have been focusing on the motor symptoms. A study in 1986 by Reuven Sandyk et al showed that administration of Cannabidiol (CBD) to Huntingtin patient’s resulted in some improvements in the choreic movements of those individuals. CBD is an extract from marijuana and choreic movements are HD-associated symptoms.
Studies have shown that patients affected by Huntington’s disease lose their cannabinoid (CB1) receptors in the post-mortem of the basal-ganglia. A study by Lastress Becker et al concluded that administration of cannabis extracts allowed the reactivation of remaining CB1 receptors resulting in improved motor-disturbances among other effects. This therefore means that the cannabis extracts, can be used to treat hyper-kinetic symptoms which are also associated with Huntington’s disease.
With these studies showing a relationship between medical marijuana and Huntington’s disease, it can be concluded that smoking of Medical marijuana or digesting of the plant itself Can assist in many ways as explained and for the time being at least shows some positive symptom assistance. Cannabis therapy an be administered for pain, tremors, relaxation, sleep, head-aches the list goes on.
Please lobby your government, wherever you are to re-think Marijuana Laws to allow for the research and use of this wonderful plant in assisting in improving the lives of many Chronic Illness and Disease sufferers. Forget what you “think” you know about Marijuana as a Psychoactive Drug and start thinking of it as a wonderful medicine.
Do your own research, we would love to hear from you.