The Parkinson’s Foundation published the results of a “first-ever” medical cannabis and Parkinson’s (PD) survey of its kind entitled “Weeding through the Haze: A Survey of Cannabis Use Among People With Parkinson’s Disease in the United States” Arsenal of Growing Evidence To propose benefits of cannabis for people with Parkinson’s disease.
After a March 3rd Press releaseThe survey was distributed to 7,607 people with Parkinson’s disease in January 2020, and over 1,064 complete responses were analyzed. 25 percent of respondents said they had used cannabis in the past six months, and less than 13 percent of consumers said they had negative side effects. Over half of respondents said they learned about cannabis use through the internet or word of mouth.
“At a time when cannabis is legal in more states than ever before, we believe this survey will provide new and important information for the growing population of cannabis users with Parkinson’s disease,” said James Beck, PhD, senior vice president and Chief Scientific Officer of the Parkinson’s Foundation. “Ultimately, our goal is to achieve better outcomes for all people with Parkinson’s disease, and we are committed to addressing issues that are a priority for the PD community.”
56 percent of those surveyed said they had no information on cannabis use in terms of dosage, type and frequency of use. 64 percent said they had no medical recommendation to use cannabis. Overall, 89 percent said cannabis did not fully replace their prescription PD medication, reinforcing the need for combining cannabis with pharmaceutical medicine.
Just last month, a German survey showed that Over half of Parkinson’s patients reported improvement thanks to medicinal cannabis. Approximately 1,300 responses were analyzed in this study – close to the number of responses listed in the American survey. Both indicate positive effects of cannabis, although they usually do not completely replace drugs.
Various efforts are being made to learn more about cannabis and Parkinson’s. As previously reported, the Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) advocates several medical cannabis bills This would allow more research into the effectiveness of cannabis for treating Parkinson’s. “Preclinical work, including several MJFF-funded studies, shows that cannabinoids can protect brain cells through antioxidant and anti-inflammatory mechanisms.” Rachel Dolhun, MD wrote on the foundation’s website.