CBD oil for Parkinson’s Disease

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol is a cannabinoid found in industrial hemp and medical marijuana. It has no psychoactive effect and will not make you high in any way. Cannabidiol is also unique in that it has few side effects even at fairly elevated doses. It does not appear to cause an overdose.

Cannabidiol works by affecting the activity of many receptors throughout the central nervous system. The most obvious of these are the CB1 and CB2 receptors. However, it’s a binding affinity for these receptors is low. It binds more strongly to an array of G-coupled protein receptors, producing effects such as anti-inflammation, reduction in seizure activity, reducing anxiety, and amelioration of pain. It can also affect various neurotransmitters in the brain.

In the case of Parkinson’s disease, it is hoped that cannabidiol can help provide an anti-inflammatory effect that will protect the brain from the rapid loss of dopaminergic neurons. It can also improve symptoms such as psychotic symptoms that may present. Cannabidiol has proven its antipsychotic properties in tests of those who suffer from schizophrenia. Does of up to 1.3 grams have been used to help those in pain from psychotic symptoms. It may also have some efficacy in preventing shaking and in inhibiting sleep behavior in those with Parkinson’s presenting with REM Sleep Behavior, a disorder in which you act out your dreams while still asleep.

The 2018 Farm Bill in the United States made the growing and selling of industrial hemp legal on a federal level. Industrial hemp is the source of CBD used in CBD products. Therefore, the legalization of industrial hemp is also the legalization of CBD. However, still, check your local medical marijuana laws before purchasing any CBD product in order to remain on the right side of the law.

CBD oil disclaimers (please read, this is important)

General Medical Disclaimer

Leaf Expert and its employees and partners do not represent the medical establishment and our information is not a replacement for your doctor’s advice.

Food and Drug Administration Disclaimer

The use of CBD products with the exception of Epidiolex and Sativex has not been evaluated or approved by the FDA. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Drug Screening Disclaimer

While most CBD products claim to have little to no THC, it is theoretically possible to fail a drug test for THC. This can happen because some CBD products have been tested to have far more THC than represented on the label. Also, CBD is similar in structure to THC.

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The Facts About Parkinson’s disease and symptoms. Usual Parkinson’s disease treatment

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that greatly impairs motor function and mobility. The hallmark of Parkinson’s disease is rigidness, shakiness, and trouble walking. There can also be mental effects such as hallucinations, anxiety, depression, and delusions. The causes of Parkinson’s are said to be both genetic and environmental. Head injuries and having a relative with the disease can both increase risk, while smoking and drinking coffee appears to be associated with a decreased risk. This might be due to the effect of coffee and cigarettes on dopamine receptors known to be involved in the development of Parkinson’s disease. Lewy bodies can build up in the neurons of the substantia nigra in the brains of sufferers, causing dopaminergic malfunction of the motor neurons. Treatment often includes L-DOPA and dopamine agonists aimed at increasing the activity of dopaminergic motor neurons. There are as many as 6.2 million people living with Parkinson’s disease.

One of the early and most noticeable symptoms of Parkinson’s disease is a hand tremor known as pill-rolling for its resemblance to the manual method of making pharmaceutical drugs in the early 1900s. Another prominent symptom is the slowness of movement, known as bradykinesia. Rigidity is a frequent symptom presenting as muscle contractures counter-acting a force imposed by a doctor to cause movement. Other symptoms include a monotonous voice, mask-frowny face, and shrinking handwriting.

In the Mind

Though Parkinson’s is primarily seen as a movement disorder, it has wide-ranging, neurodegeneration effects in some people. This includes effects on cognition and how the patient behaves. Thinking maybe slowed down and it may become difficult to make a decision. Thinking and movement are strongly related to each other. In Parkinson’s movement can become uncertain and this can also correlate with an inability to make effective decisions. Memory and attention can be affected. Some sufferers can at times lose the ability to inhibit themselves from performing a regrettable action. Almost 80% of people with Parkinson’s will develop dementia but not everyone will. Therefore, Parkinson’s is not a sign of dementia, though the two frequently co-occur.

Medications for Parkinson’s disease can cause loss of impulse control in contexts such as gambling, sexual over-expression, and compulsive eating. Sleep disturbance, orthostatic intolerance, and erectile and sexual dysfunction can also impair the quality of life in a person with Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s can be diagnosed with a neurological examination and medical history. MRI and PET scans may be used to diagnose or monitor brain function.

The following medications are used to treat Parkinson’s disease:

  1. Levodopa – an amino acid that converts to dopamine in the brain.
  2. Carbidopa – dopamine decarboxylase inhibitor which prevents L-Dopa from converting into dopamine before it gets into the brain
  3. Dopamine agonists like Requip
  4. COMT inhibitor – catechol-O-methyl transferase inhibitor also prevents L-Dopa from converting to dopamine before it gets into the brain
  5. MAO B – inhibitors – monoamine oxidase inhibitors discourage the breakdown of dopamine

CBD hemp oil dosage for Parkinson’s disease from Preliminary studies

  • 5 grams of pot corrected shaking and slowness of movement (Venderová K, 2004)
  • 150 milligrams of CBD oil reduced psychotic symptoms (Chagas MH, 2014)
  • 300 milligrams per day improved the quality of life in Parkinson patients. (Lotan I, 2014)
  • 75-300 milligrams (CBD oil mg dosage for Parkinson’s disease) reduced movement and acting out during sleep. (Zuardi AW, 2009)

Further Scientific Findings On CBD And Parkinson’s disease. What Research Says

How many mg of CBD oil for Parkinson’s disease?

A 2014 study in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found an increase in quality of life on 300 mg/day of CBD but did not find a significant difference in a host of markers being tested (Chagas M. H., et al., 2014).

A 2014 study published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics found that cannabidiol can reduce REM sleep behavior. This is a disorder common in Parkinson’s when a patient begins to move in his sleep and act out what he is dreaming. This can result in accidents, falls, sleep-eating, and even fighting with a bed partner while asleep. It can also result is sleep-sex behavior (Chagas M. H., et al., 2014).

A 2016 study in mice found that cannabidiol given with capsazepine (capsaicin receptor antagonist) in mice reduced abnormal movements caused by L-DOPA administration. This could greatly reduce the side effects of L-DOPA in humans with Parkinson’s.

It appears that cannabidiol does not directly impact Parkinsonian mechanisms but can improve the quality of life by reducing some symptoms of the disorder.

Compare pros and cons CBD and usual Parkinson’s disease treatment

Treatment Pros Cons Advantage of CBD
L-Dopa Increases dopamine in the brain. Directly affects Parkinson’s symptoms. It can increase compulsive behaviors and has other side effects. CBD can reduce symptoms without the side effect of compulsive behavior.
Carbidopa Efficiently prevents the conversion of L-DOPA to dopamine outside the brain Can add to the side effect of compulsive behavior Does not cause side effects of L-Dopa or Carbidopa
Requip Can reduce Parkinson symptoms by acting as a dopamine agonist It can cause compulsive gambling. Can encourage the loss of motor neurons CBD is brain-protective
MAO-B inhibitor Can increase levels of dopamine Can speed neurodegeneration. It cannot be taken with many different meds. CBD is safe with a large number of medicines. Always ask your doctor if you can take CBD with your meds and supplements

 Reviews from Social Media

cbd for parkinsons review

This Reddit user found that 200 mg per day of CBD greatly helped her husband to deal with pain from the stiffness caused by Parkinson’s. It appears that CBD helps in reducing collateral symptoms but does not directly treat dopaminergic dysfunction.

cbd for parkinsons review2

This Reddit user has come to a similar conclusion, that CBD oil does not cure Parkinson’s but takes the edge off of the resultant suffering.

cbd for parkinsons review3

This Reddit user gives a positive report on the use of Charlotte’s web oil to relieve pain and stiffness in Parkinson’s.

cbd for parkinsons review4

This Reddit user tried her granny on a CBD gummy and noticed effects right away which she wants to improve on by purchasing a more affordable and constant supply. Gummies, while effective, can be an expensive way to get your CBD.

Risks. Does CBD have any side effects?

CBD is famous for having few side effects. Human studies and anecdotal reports have used dosages between 20 mg all the way up to 1.3 grams, without significant side effects.   It is not yet known if it is possible to overdose on CBD (cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive constituent of industrial hemp). One of the more frequently reported side effects is sleepiness and lethargy from the anti-anxiety effect.

A more serious side effect is not the side effect of CBD but of medications, you take alongside CBD. CBD can inhibit liver metabolism leading to increased or decreased levels of many of the other drugs or supplements you are taking. Therefore, it is crucial that you ask your doctor about any drug interactions you might encounter with CBD. You should also research it yourself by using a pubmed.gov search. You can’t leave everything up to your doctor. In the end, no one can take on the consequences of what you put in your body but you.

Things to Consider Before Buying CBD Oil for Parkinson’s disease

Cannabidiol does not appear to provide any direct effect on Parkinson’s disease as far as increasing or improving dopamine function. However, it may have a neuroprotectant effect on dopaminergic neurons. In Parkinson’s, treatment with dopaminergic drugs help for a short time, but in the end, it may even speed the loss of function of dopaminergic neurons. Cannabidiol may be able to slow that process down. In combination with other neuroprotectants, a sufferer of Parkinson’s could potentially delay the onset of more serious disease by using neuroprotectants such as cannabidiol and low dose dextromethorphan (NMDA antagonist, neuroprotectant, cough suppressant). Giving dopamine agonists to someone with Parkinson’s is like giving insulin to a diabetic. It will help in the short-term. In the long-term, it will increase insulin insensitivity and lead to faster full diabetic pancreatic failure. Any residual pancreas function will be lost and destroyed. So, it’s better to try to protect the pancreas, and in the case of Parkinson’s to protect the brain, when you have any substance that makes that possible.

To get an effective CBD oil dose for Parkinson’s disease you should use prescription Epidiolex and Sativex if you are in the US. In countries where it is legal to use CBD products for Parkinson’s, you can purchase such products from a reputable vendor based in the United States of America. We sampled Plus CBD products and found them effective. Elixinol also has a good company and there are several others. It’s worth noting there are also bad companies out there. The FDA found in 2016, only 2 out of 24 products they tested had significant CBD, so you definitely want to check out the reviews to find the right products. In the US, you can freely use non-prescription CBD oil for stress and anxiety associated with Parkinson’s disease, but not for the disease itself, which is owned by drug companies who create and run the FDA.

Perhaps the most cost-effective way to get high levels of CBD is to buy CBD isolate. This is a crystalline powder or rocky chunks which contain CBD alone. The most effective product maybe CBD oil pills which contain the full spectrum of cannabinoids. First, calculate how much CBD oil to take for Parkinson’s disease. It may be expensive if you will need a dosing of 300 mg and up, in which case you will need to buy isolate. When suspended in oil, you can take CBD oil sublingually. Just put it under the tongue and wait 60 seconds, then swallow.


Chagas, M. H., Chagas, M. H., Chagas, M. H., Zuardi, A. W., Zuardi, A. W., Tumas, V., . . . Crippa, J. A. (2014). Effects of cannabidiol in the treatment of patients with Parkinson’s disease: An exploratory double-blind trial. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 28(11), 1088-1098. Retrieved 1 19, 2019, from http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0269881114550355

Chagas, M. H., Chagas, M. H., Eckeli, A. L., Zuardi, A. W., Zuardi, A. W., Pena-Pereira, M. A., . . . Crippa, J. A. (2014). Cannabidiol can improve complex sleep-related behaviors associated with rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder in Parkinson’s disease patients: A case series. Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics, 39(5), 564-566. Retrieved 1 19, 2019, from https://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24845114

Lotan I, T. T. (2014). Cannabis (medical marijuana) treatment for motor and non-motor symptoms of Parkinson disease: Clin Neuropharmacol, 37(2)-41-4.

Venderová K, R. E. (2004). Survey on cannabis use in Parkinson’s disease: subjective improvement of motor symptoms. Movement Disorder, 1102-6.

Zuardi AW, C. J. (2009). Cannabidiol for the treatment of psychosis in Parkinson’s disease. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 979-83.

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