Study: Cannabis Inhalation Improves Parkinson’s Symptoms

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director October 11, 2016

    Marijuana researchInhaling cannabis improves symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, according to clinical data published online ahead of print in the European Journal of Pain.

    Investigators at Tel Aviv University and the Rabin Medical Center in Israel assessed the impact of cannabis exposure on motor symptoms and pain parameters in patients with Parkinson’s disease.

    Researchers reported that cannabis inhalation was associated with improved symptoms 30-minutes following exposure. “Cannabis improved motor scores and pain symptoms in PD patients,” authors concluded.

    A prior Israeli trial evaluating the impact of cannabis on PD patients reported “significant improvement after treatment in tremor, rigidity, and bradykinsea (slowness of movement) … [as well as] significant improvement of sleep and pain scores.”

    Over 20,000 Israeli patients receive cannabis under a federally regulated program. Over 90 percent of those participants report significant improvements in pain and function as a result of their medicinal cannabis use.

    An abstract of the study, “Effect of medical cannabis on thermal quantitative measurements of pain in patients with Parkinson’s disease,” is available online here.

    22 Responses to “Study: Cannabis Inhalation Improves Parkinson’s Symptoms”

    1. Don B says:

      Significant improvement for over 90 percent of participants is pretty darn effective, but as I understand it, medical marijuana must be 100+ percent effective to be considered a viable medicine by our government. No other drug need come close to that, and none do, but this is marijuana, a plant, and besides, this was an Israeli trial, not FDA approved, so must be considered unproven.

    2. Mark Mitcham says:

      I’ve heard of cannabis jokingly referred to as “Vitamin M”. I adopted the phrase myself, I liked it so much. I used the phrase as a metaphor, and I played it for humor, but I understood it to be meaningfully true on some level, at least in my experience.

      Now, on learning that cannabis is effective medicine for such a broad range of ailments, I begin to wonder: it it possible that cannabis actually could be an essential nutrient, without which our health will suffer?

      Or, more specifically, could it be true that cannabinoids, whether endocannabinoids (obtained from within the body) or exocannabinoids (obtained from outside the body), are essential nutrients?

      Vitamin M. Essential for good health!

      • mexweed says:

        Good idea, but I was thinking along the lines of Vitamin H. Turns out that is an older name for Biotin, now known as B7. I wanted it to stand for Hashish (now obsolete, you can toke loose kief in a #40-screened flexdrawtube oneheater) or Hydrocannabinol.
        Well, let’s have a debate and attract some attention.

      • Keith Kropf says:

        Yea Mark, Vitamin M! I like that

      • Mick Malkemus says:

        Our body has an endocannabinoid system. Marijuana activates that system if weakened within the body.

        • Mark Mitcham says:

          That would be similar to vitamin D, which we can produce ourselves internally (with exposure to sunlight on our skin), or we can buy and eat supplemental vitamin D.

          Damn the prohibitionist bastards who have left us so far behind on the science, we barely understand our own biology!

    3. Donna says:

      Yup, it sure does; and you don’t need medical marijuana to do it! Good old fashion weed, not the overly powerful artificially enhanced medical grade BS the will eventually turn into a black market causing great harm to the legalization of Mary Jane. Be wise support legalization not commercialization

      • Mark Mitcham says:

        You can’t have one without the other. The price for legalization is commercialization. What is important is to stop the arrests.

        • Julian says:

          Thank you Mark.
          Donna, we don’t need to make the perfect the enemy of the good to create consumer-friendly policies in regards to marijuana reform. Youre being counterproductive.
          We already have a strong legal structure for commercialized, synthesized poison prescriptions. Your argument for eliminating commercialization instead of reforming it for policies like homegrow and pesticide inspections is counterintuitive, and quite frankly suspicious of “Smart Colorado” and “Project SAM” propaganda and stall tactics.
          Everyone please use the Congressional Scorecard link above before voting (or just keep your phone on silent when entering the voting booth), and use the custom search above to find NORML endorsed policies in your state.

      • Don B says:

        Indeed. One of the most under-reported qualities of cannabis is that lower grades do the job, too, and that many people prefer more moderate strains.

    4. patricia scully says:

      I am 65yrs old and have pd since I was 57-and I have a hard time walking and tremors-where can I go for help.

    5. Julian says:

      Part of me is fascinated by the science and research which seems to constantly validate a marijuana consumer’s intuition; these neurological disorders are imbalances in our endocannabinoid system, and cannabis is safe and effective nourishment to create homeostatic balance.
      But at the same time it is so deeply painful, indeed treasounous that this life-saving research that can allow us to live and die with dignity has been prohibited from us for so long here in the U.S.
      Ive posted here before that my grandfather died of Parkinson’s disease in 1995, the year before the AMA published the existence of the endocannabinoid system. In fact, both my grandfathers graduated from Harvard Medical School; my father’s father a psychoanalyst who was never permitted to prescribe marijuana, despite applications denied by the DEA I found after his death.
      But it was my mother’s father who contracted Parkinson’s, either from the countless surgeries he performed or perhaps from chemicals he was exposed to when he was a field medic in Normandy and later a photographer developing films during WWII in Italy.
      What a terrible betrayal we have bestowed upon our own war heroes, exposing them to chemicals that cause irreversible nerve damage and then prohibiting them and the patients our doctors treat from the safest most effective medicine to heal neurological imbalance and symptoms: marijuana.
      My grandmother suffered greatly keeping track of my grandfather’s frequent falls from stairs and deer blinds as he struggled to maintain his standard of living. She died shortly after him, the year California passed this nation’s first medical marijuana law. Every time we speak to our representatives, the spirit of our grandfathers are made proud. On this night of Jewish atonement and the last day of voter registration, let our nation reflect upon who we can become as we re-write the rules and turn our prisons into schools.

      • Keith Kropf says:

        Thanks for sharing your story Julian. It is unfortunate that your grandfathers were not allowed to prescribe Nature’s Best medicine – Vitamin M ( I like that too).

    6. Galileo Galilei says:

      Off topic, but I saw Gary Johnson in a CNN interview the other night. He was quite insightful and refreshing. Normally he’d have my vote, but I feel current circumstances are too dire to use my vote in this way.

      The other candidates are in full blown mudslinging ‘war’ by this time in the election. It’s worth your time to watch him just to get your feet on the ground before election day.


    7. TheOracle says:

      I have to ask myself if this kind of research would have been legal in the U.S.? Since the Drug Enforcement Administration has pre-determined according to its mission that cannabis has no medical value, the research into cures has to occur outside the U.S. How stupid is that?

      • mexweed says:

        Remedy: admit Israel as 51st State, elect President who won’t interfere with State-authorized research.

        • Mark Mitcham says:

          That’s some highly creative, weed-inspired thinking! Can’t see it actually happening, but I love the creativity!

          Keep up the good work on Tobacco education! Tobacco: the deadliest “recreational” drug out there, hands down! It’s the Number one killer!

      • Don M says:

        I believe that I can answer your question with one word: Extremely!!!

        Our government has been so completely unreasonable on this issue that it is downright embarrassing.

    8. Miles says:

      A good friend of mine has Parkinson’s. One of our favorite things to do is to vaporize some cannabis and play chess. The cannabis definitely helps him with his awful symptoms.

    9. c a says:

      hi i am writing because i have read so many articles but cannot choose which is better the CBD or Hemp Oil and if it is like is said. i will like to try for i have: kidney stones althe time and my kidney isn’t 100% well, also have diabetese, asthma, my hands burn and have sharp pains, a little bit of shaking, anxiety and so on. I really want to feel better and not take so much medicines, can you recommend which if better, thank u for helping so many people ca

    10. cannabis says:

      Finally science proves what so many are experiencing since ages.

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