Survey discovered {that a} quarter of Parkinson’s sufferers had used hashish up to now six months

Almost 25% of patients with Parkinson’s disease said in a survey by the Parkinson’s Foundation that they had used cannabis in the past six months. A report on the survey “Weeding Through the Haze: A Survey of Cannabis Use Among People With Parkinson’s Disease in the United States” was published last week in the journal NPJ Parkinson’s Disease.

In the report, the authors find that Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease affecting more than 1 million Americans and costing society more than $ 50 billion. The disease causes a variety of motor symptoms such as tremors, stiffness, and unstable posture. Less well-known symptoms include insomnia, cognitive changes, pain, anxiety, depression, and hallucinations.

Parkinson’s patients typically use pharmaceutical drugs to manage their condition with varying degrees of success. However, common treatments do not address non-motor symptoms and can sometimes cause side effects such as dyskinesia, an abnormality, or impairment of voluntary movement.

As a result, many patients are turning to complementary or alternative treatments for their disease.

One such alternative treatment is cannabis. In a poll in Colorado, some participants reported that cannabis was the most effective alternative theory.

“The medicinal use of cannabis represents a novel, alternative approach to controlling PD symptoms,” the authors state. “Preclinical evidence suggests that cannabinoids could be of great benefit in neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s.”

The authors note that marijuana policy reform has made cannabis widely available for both medicinal and recreational uses. As a result, many PD patients now have legal access to cannabis as an alternative or complementary therapy.

“Little is known, however, about attitudes and experiences with cannabis use in people with Parkinson’s,” the report confirms.

More than 1,000 PD patients were surveyed

To learn more about the effectiveness of cannabis in treating Parkinson’s, a survey was sent to more than 7,600 people who had interacted with the Parkinson’s Foundation through events or the group’s hotline. A total of 1,339 surveys were returned, including 1,064 from people who gave full responses.

After analyzing the data, the researchers found that 24.5% of those surveyed had used cannabis in the previous six months. In the group reporting cannabis use, a majority of patients reported that the alternative therapy caused “moderate or significant improvement” in their symptoms, particularly in the treatment of anxiety, pain, insomnia, stiffness, and tremors. However, around 20% of those who had recently used cannabis did not show any significant improvement in their symptoms. A majority of cannabis users reported that they had not received a medical marijuana recommendation from their family doctor.

“Our results suggest that while there are many people with Parkinson’s who use cannabis as a remedy [complementary alternative] In managing their motor and non-motor symptoms, the lack of formal guidance on cannabis use in Parkinson’s disease can lead to inconsistencies in use and reported efficacy, ”the authors wrote.

The survey shows that more research is needed on cannabis for treating Parkinson’s and other health problems. Although more than 75% of respondents said they had not used cannabis recently, a majority of them said that evidence supporting cannabis for the treatment of Parkinson’s would have an impact on their opinion.

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