CBD for Parkinson’s disease: Does it help?

CBD for Parkinson’s disease: Does it help?

CBD for Parkinson’s disease: Does it help?

The Food and Drug administration has approved Epidiolex, which is a CBD-based medication, for the treatment of a rare seizure. This indication of the CBD drug has increased the interest in the use of CBD for movement disorder, including symptoms of parkinson’s disease (e.g. tremor, slow movement, and restlessness).

Read on to learn more about using CBD oil for Parkinson's disease, including the recent evidence, how to use, and dosage of CBD for this condition.

What does the research say?

Cannabidiol for the treatment of psychosis in parkinson’s disease

The management of psychosis in parkinson’s disease is still a great challenge for clinical. First line approach is to reduce the dosage of anti-parkinsonian medication, but it isn’t always possible to apply in all cases due to motor fluctuation. Otherwise, add-on therapy with typical antipsychotic drugs can produce further side effects as well as exacerbate the motor symptoms of parkinson’s disease, like tremor, slow movement. Therefore, it is necessary to find a safe and effective drug to manage psychosis symptoms in patients having parkinson’s disease.

Six patients (four men and two women) diagnosed with Parkinson's disease who had psychosis for 3 months were selected for the study. The participants received CBD powder in addition to their standard therapy for 4 weeks. CBD supplied by THC-Farm (made in Germany) was prepared in corn oil and packed into gelatin capsules for use.

The starting dose was 150 mg and it was titrated based on clinical response. The psychotic and symptoms were measured by a brief psychiatric rating scale. After 4 week treatment with CBD, the rating scale score was significantly decreased, including improvement of thinking disorder, retardation, depression, and activation. No adverse event was observed during the trial, especially CBD didn’t worsen motor symptoms and affect cognitive function in patients having parkinson’s disease.

The study suggested that CBD may be effective and safe for the treatment of psychosis in patients diagnosed with Parkinson's disease [1].

 Investigation of the role of CBD in patients with parkinson’s disease

The endocannabinoid increasingly captured the attention of experts since it showed neuroprotective effects in animal models. Thus, a Brazilian research team designed a clinical trial to assess the effects of CBD in treating parkinson’s disease which is a neurodegenerative disorder.

21 patients diagnosed with Parkinson's disease enrolled in study without dementia and psychiatric conditions. They are randomized into three groups of seven participants each who took placebo, CBD 75 mg/day, and CBD 300 mg/day. The outcomes were improvement in parkinson’s symptoms, quality of life, and side effects of CBD. Although there was no difference in the symptoms and markers for possible neuroprotective effects in patients using CBD or placebo, the group receiving CBD 300 mg/day had a greater increase in the functioning and well-being of parkinson’s patients compared to placebo group. The findings indicated a possible benefit of CBD in improving the quality of life of Parkinson's disease patients. Moreover, larger studies should be conducted to provide stronger conclusions about the effects of CBD in parkinson’s disease, such as symptomatic relief and neuroprotection [2].

Choosing the right dose of CBD

There is no one size fits all dosage for CBD. What’s optimal mainly depends on a range of factors, such as body weight, tolerance, symptoms, metabolism, and so on. These factors can yield unique effects for each CBD consumer. Keep in mind that you should pay close attention to how you feel after each dose. It might not occur immediately, and you should be patient to remember that you’re unlikely to get immediate results. As soon as you experience positive effects, lock in that dose and stick with it.

With oral route, start at a dose of 20 milligrams per day (using twice or three times a day) and increase the dose gradually to achieve desirable effects. Do not increase or decrease your dose more often or longer than recommended. Your condition may not improve faster, your risks of side effects will increase.

The recommended dosage forms are CBD capsule and CBD oil. As compared to capsule, CBD oil is extremely versatile because it can be taken under the tongue or smoked with vaping devices.

How to use

Taking capsules is the simplest and most convenient way to use CBD. You only need to swallow the capsule with at least 300 ml of water. The drawbacks of the oral route are low availability and delayed onset of effects.

There are some ways to take CBD oil, and we will provide two most common and effective methods to use CBD in this section.

Firstly, applying CBD sublingually is incredibly easy. CBD oil needs to be put under the tongue and held from 60 to 120 seconds without swallowing to allow adequate time for CBD to diffuse completely across the epithelial cells. The method remains the same when you use CBD oils or tinctures. You must hold the CBD under the tongue since different areas of the mouth might not be permeable enough for diffusion into the bloodstream. Taking CBD sublingually provides fast onset of action and high bioavailability.

Vaping CBD seems to be slightly more difficult than taking CBD sublingually. The first step to vaping properly is to determine how much CBD you consume each time. If you feel unconfident at first,  you should start with the easiest option. Disposable cartridges and pods are the simplest tools for new users. Refillable vape pens are a little bit more advanced but more cost-effective in the long term. It is important to read the instructions carefully before using them.

Notice about using CBD 

Overall, it is vital that your doctor check your improvements, disease progression, side effects, and interaction with food or drugs at regular visits to make sure CBD is working properly.

- Notice any side effects and tell your doctor right away

- Don’t take other medicines (including ETC, OTC medicines, herbal, or vitamin supplements) unless they have been discussed with your doctor.

As regards CBD products, they are made by a company that provides: 

  • Third-party 
  • Business certification
  • Certificate of analysis (COA), no contain more than 0.3% THC and pass tests for heavy metals, pesticides, etc.
  • Source of their hemp
  • Product information (Brand, CBD content, ingredients, potency, route of administration, indication, instruction)
  • Customers’ review
  • No subject of FDA warning letter or make any unsupported health claim

Drug interaction

People considering or taking CBD products should always mention their use to their doctor, especially if you are taking other medications or have underlying ailments, such as kidney disease, liver disease, heart failure, or immunocompromised condition. Pharmacists are also a reliable source to help you learn about potential drug interaction with supplements, over-the-counter drugs or prescribed drugs.


[1]. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18801821/

[2]. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25237116/

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