Most questions about hempasked to the Parkinson Association are about medicinal cannabis oil (oil, instead of granulate). The Medicinal Cannabis Office, however, also supplies the granulated varieties Bredocan, Bediol, Bedica and Bedrolite for processing into Medicinal Cannabis Oil, to the Transvaal Pharmacy (The Hague).
Patients need a doctor’s prescription to obtain this at the pharmacy. Cannabis Oil is usually taken orally, but vaporization followed by inhalation is also possible. For oral use: briefly hold in the mouth under the tongue before swallowing. In addition to the above four types of 10% cbd oil, there is THC Oil containing only synthetic THC (Dronabinol, Nabilone) as active ingredient. This is currently only used for diseases other than Parkinson’s (Aids, cancer). The latter also applies to Medicinal CBD Oil (Epidiolex, epilepsy), Nabiximols (ratio THC / CBD = 50/50) that is used, among other things, against spasticity in Multiple Sclerosis.
Effectiveness of medicinal cannabis in Parkinson’s
There is still insufficient qualified research specifically for Parkinson’s disease to be able to say that the effectiveness of HEMP has been scientifically proven. For some other diseases this evidence is there (see introduction). There are indications that HEMP also works on the same symptoms with other diseases. These indications are so serious that now (at the end of 2015) on the website of pharmacists ( www.apotheek.nl/medicijnen/cannabis ) the following treatment options with HEMP are available:
Reduce pain with chronic pain
Known side effects include mood swings (and suicidality), insomnia, heart palpitations, hallucinations, and disorientation.
In 2014, an overview article (Systematic Review) by Koppel and colleagues was published in the international journal Neurology on the effectiveness and safety of HEMP in neurological disorders. The conclusion was that HEMP probably helps against chronic pain and muscle spasticity in MS and that it probably does not help against tremor and over motility in Parkinson’s. Compared to placebo groups, the following adverse effects were found:
Dizziness, nausea, disorientation, confusion and hallucinations
HEMP is therefore not recommended for patients who previously appeared to be vulnerable on one of these points.
Research into the functioning and effectiveness of cannabis in Parkinson’s can be subdivided into pre-clinical studies (in animals, using a Parkinson’s model) and clinical studies in patients with Parkinson’s disease.
Animal experimental research (in fruit flies, mice, rats and small monkeys) has focused on the protective effects of cannabis on nerve cells, and on reducing dyskinesias due to levodopa use. Although only 3 studies have been done on the protective effects of cannabis (‘neuroprotection’), these 3 studies all show nerve cell retention in an animal model where substantianigra is damaged (as a model for Parkinson’s disease).
However, these studies have been replicated some time ago, have not been replicated since and have not been followed up by follow-up research on ‘higher’ animal species and humans. Studies in animals that looked at the effects of cannabis on dyskinesias caused by levodopa showed varying results. The studies are also difficult to compare because 3 different cannabis products have been used, all with a different effect on the CB1 and CB2 receptors.