Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease, meaning that over time, progressive degeneration (deteriorating) of the nervous system leads to various movement disorders or difficulties. Hallmark signs of Parkinson’s Disease are tremors or rigidity (stiffness). Symptoms typically start gradually, sometimes starting with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand. Over time, patients may lose expression in their face, their arms may not swing as they walk, and their speech may become slurred or soft. These symptoms may worsen over time, and will likely result in difficulties performing activities of daily living (ADL). In the early stages of Parkinson’s disease, your face may show little or no expression. Your arms may not swing when you walk. Your speech may become soft or slurred. Parkinson’s disease symptoms worsen as your condition progresses over time.

Unfortunately, Parkinson’s disease has no cure. Doctors can prescribe medications to improve symptoms or slow the progression of the disease. Preliminary research is beginning to understand the role that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) may play in the management of symptoms in Parkinson’s disease. CBD may improve motor symptoms of Parkinson’s such as tremors or rigidity, and may also provide some neuroprotective effects as well that may slow the progression of disease.

Research articles:

Promising cannabinoid-based therapies for Parkinson’s disease: motor symptoms to neuroprotection

Effects of cannabidiol in the treatment of patients with Parkinson’s disease: An exploratory double-blind trial

Multiple sclerosis, or MS, occurs when the body’s immune system “eats away” at the protective covering of nerves (called the myelin sheath). This resulting nerve damage disrupts communication between the brain and the body. Multiple sclerosis can cause many different symptoms, including vision loss, pain, fatigue, and impaired coordination. The symptoms, severity, and duration can vary from person to person. Some people may be symptom-free most of their lives, while others can have severe chronic symptoms that never go away. Physical therapy and medications that suppress the immune system can help with symptoms and slow disease progression, but there is no cure. Unfortunately, medications that weaken the immune system come with the potential for serious side effects. 

Because of this, some patients have turned to CBD oil to help with symptoms of multiple sclerosis. While CBD is not a replacement for the mainstays of treatment, preliminary research and case reports have shown some benefit when CBD is added to the regimen. Patients report that CBD helps with the muscle spasticity symptoms of MS.

One study showed that “…objective improvement in mobility and patients’ opinion of an improvement in pain suggest that cannabinoids might be clinically useful.”