Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive nervous system disorder that leads to the death of nerve cells (i.e. neurons) in the part of the brain called substantia nigra. PD affects movement and is often associated with tremor.

  • What is Parkinson’s disease?
  • Parkinson’s disease & cannabinoids
  • Text references, literature discussion
    & clinical trials

What is Parkinson’s disease?

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive nervous system disorder that leads to the death of nerve cells (i.e. neurons) in the part of the brain called substantia nigra. PD affects movement and is often associated with tremor.1

Signs and symptoms of PD may go unnoticed in the early stages of the disease. However, when the symptoms do appear, they are likely to affect only one side of the body in the beginning before the disease progresses.2

  • Tremor
    Shaking or tremor
  • Bradykinesia
    Slowed movement causing simple tasks to be difficult and time-consuming
  • Muscle stiffness
    Rigid muscles may occur in all parts of the body
  • Loss of unconscious movements
    Decreased ability to perform an everyday automatic movement (blinking, smiling, etc.)
  • Changes to speech
    May affect the volume, speed, sound, and clearness of talking
  • Impaired balance and posture

Certain nerve cells in the brain are affected in PD which can lead to the death or breakdown of these cells. Many symptoms of this disease occur due to the death of neurons that are responsible for the production of dopamine.. Decreased dopamine level leads to abnormal brain activity, resulting in impaired movement and other symptoms associated with PD.2

Currently, the exact cause of Parkinson’s disease is unknown. Factors that can increase the risk of PD are:2

  • Age
    PD is usually developed after the age of 60
  • Sex

Men are more likely to develop PD compared to  women

  • Heredity
    Genetics increase the risk of developing PD
  • Toxin exposure
    Continuous exposure to toxins may increase the risk of developing PD
  • Cannabinoids
  • Cannabinoid receptors
  • Endocannabinoids
  • CBD
  • THC
  • THCA
  • THCV
  • CB1
  • CB2
  • PPARα
  • PPARγ
  • TRPV1
  • GPR6
  • GPR12
  • 2AG
  • Anandamide
  • OEA
  • PEA
  • Terpenes
  • Strains
  • Enzymes
  • Metabolites
  • Caryophyllene


Synthesizing & Degrading Enzymes


The connection between Parkinson’s disease
& cannabinoids


Preclinical data propose that the cannabinoids THC, CBD, THCA, and THV may be beneficial in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease due to the neuroprotective properties of cannabinoids.2

CBD exhibits anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, and both inflammation and oxidative stress are connected to the development of various movement disorders like Parkinson’s disease.3

Note: If you have any further information relevant to the connection between Parkinson’s disease and cannabinoids, or find any of the information inaccurate, outdated, or incomplete please contact us here.

Text references, literature discussion
& clinical trials

  • Text references
  • Literature discussion
  • Clinical trials

It was shown that there is a connection between GPR6 and Parkinson’s disease (Laun & Song, 2017).

In human neuroblastoma cells, THC, but not CBD was shown to have neuroprotective properties. PPAR-gamma mediated this neuroprotection (Carroll et al., 2012).

In a rat model of Parkinson’s Disease, THCV and CBD showed neuroprotective properties in a CB2-independent way (García et al., 2011). Mobility was also shown to be improved by THCV in this study.

In cultured midbrain neurons, it was found that CBD, THCA, and THC exhibited anti-oxidative effects. Furthermore, THCA and THC were found to exert neuroprotective effects (Moldzio et al., 2012).

In one study, dopamine release was reduced by anandamide via TRPV1 receptors, (de Lago et al., 2004) proposing that they play a role in movement behavior.

Clinical trials

In a trial that involved 22 patients, tremor, and bradykinesia (slow movement) were improved when smoking 0.5g cannabis. The effects were observed within 30 minutes of consumption (Lotan et al., 2014).

In a patient survey, symptoms were shown to be alleviated when smoking cannabis in 25% of Parkinson’s patients. Of these, almost 50% found that symptoms were facilitated moderately to substantially (Venderová et al., 2004). In a small-scale trial, psychotic symptoms of Parkinson’s were shown to be decreased by CBD without affecting motor function (Zuardi et al., 2009). In a study that involved four patients, insomnia linked to Parkinson’s Disease was immediately reduced by CBD (Chagas et al., 2014).


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