The brain is still one of the biggest mysteries in medical science. There’s so many unexplored possible treatments and pathways to wellness. Cannabis could be one of them.
There’s so much we don’t know about the brain. Using new technology and building on previous research, researchers are discovering new information and creating ground-breaking treatments.
Combined with this, cannabis has only recently become accepted as a possible treatment for medical problems. This means that there is currently an explosion of studies into CBD and THC as a cure, or treatment, for various neurological problems. While many possible treatments are still in their infancy, being tested on animals or in trial stages, there is evidence that cannabis could be helpful in a range of neurological disorders.
It is particularly interesting for treatment for neurological disorders, as unlike many pharmaceuticals, CBD and THC penetrate the blood-brain barrier. This means it could prove to be effective where other medications have failed.
Many neurological diseases affect pathways in the brain and can cause spontaneous pain or increased sensitivity to pain. These are currently treated with medications that are intentionally broad in their use, and treat the symptoms, not the disease or cause of the problems. CBD and cannabis show promising signs of improving pain symptoms by modulating central and peripheral pathways.
Alzheimer’s is a disease primarily in people aged between 80 and 85 years old. It is caused by formations of ‘plaque’ and ‘tangles’ in the brain that stop normal transmission of brain activity. These formations increase as people age, and brain activity degenerates as a result.
Use of THC in late-stage Alzheimer’s can help to minimise agitation and disturbed behaviour and increase sleep duration. One big challenge with Alzheimers is that patients forget to eat and drink and are frequently malnourished and dehydrated. THC can help by triggering appetite, increasing food intake, and that has positive flow-on affects for general wellness. A combination of CBD and THC may also help to slow the progression of the disease.
This progressive neurodegenerative disorder affects a range of physical functions. It’s known to produce tremors, bradykinesia (slow movements), rigidness, and problems maintaining posture. However, there are also other less-visible symptoms including pain, anxiety, and insomnia.
An emerging field of cannabis research, early studies are showing that CBD could be a possible treatment for Parkinsons. It works in the brain through several processes, and can help reduce rapid eye movement sleep disorder, tremors, bradykinesia, and rigidity. This helps to improve sleep quality and also mood.
Possibly one of the earliest and best-known medicinal uses for cannabis in modern medicine, cannabis has been approved by the American FDA for treatment of the epileptic Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. Use of a CBD oil Nz called Epidiolex resulted in a decrease in drop seizures of up to 41.9%. Especially in drug-resistant epilepsy, seizures decreased an average of 54%.
Because most people are already on medication for seizures, it is highly recommended that you consult a doctor before considering CBD as a treatment. It can interact with some medications and including THC in the medication can worsen the epileptic seizures and symptoms.
The primary cause of the symptoms of multiple sclerosis is that nerve fibres become demyelinated, which is when they lose their protective covering. This slows or completely interrupts transmission of nerve information. This affects a huge range of functions and typically MS sufferers report vision problems, muscle weakness and co-ordination issues, and loss of sensation.
Use of CBD and THC in a 1:1 ratio is already being used in a number of countries, including NZ, for treating the pain and spasticity of multiple sclerosis. It appears that cannabinoids have neuroprotective affects, decreasing central pain. There is also some evidence that CBD could improve bladder function in some MS patients.
However, smoking cannabis is associated with poorer cognitive function in MS sufferers, so it is important to ensure intake of CBD products is in the correct form and in appropriate amounts.
Used with Guidance, CBD and THC May Help Neurological Issues
As with all emerging THC and CBD treatments, a lack of strong outcomes in research is stopping some people from seeking treatment, or leading them to self-medicate. This variation in use can result in inconsistencies in effectiveness.
Please contact us at The Pain Clinic for a consultation. We follow research to use the right ratios of CBD and THC, and in the most effective form, whether oils, ingestion, or applied topically. If you or someone you love has Alzheimer’s, Parkinsons, multiple sclerosis or epilepsy, cannabis might be able to help reduce the symptoms, and improve the quality of life.