CBD for Parkinson's: A Promising Addition to Conventional Therapy?

CBD for Parkinson's: A Promising Addition to Conventional Therapy?

The Key Points:

  • Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder with various motor and non-motor symptoms that can greatly impact patients' lives.
  • CBD may offer a range of benefits in treating Parkinson's, including improving sleep quality, reducing tremors, increasing overall quality of life, and alleviating inflammation and chronic pain.
  • CBD may also have a neuroprotective effect and promote the survival of nerve cells, which could be beneficial in neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's.
  • CBD has some potential side effects and can interact with certain medications, so it is important to speak with a doctor before using it.
  • There are many positive anecdotal reports from Parkinson's patients using CBD, but further scientific studies are necessary to fully understand the potential benefits and risks.

Does CBD have a positive impact on the progression of the neurodegenerative disease Parkinson's? Could the natural hemp extract be a good and helpful addition to conventional therapy for the disease?

My name is Stefanie Stingl. I have been extensively involved in CBD and cannabis for many years, advising many people and acquiring extensive knowledge in this field. My goal is to objectively illuminate the role of CBD in the healthcare sector. In this article, I would like to share my findings on the potential use of CBD in Parkinson's and hope to provide you with a deeper understanding of the topic.

As always, you will find a summary of studies and a discussion forum at the end of the article, where you can find further information and engage in discussions.

An Introduction to Parkinson's Disease and Its Symptoms

Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder of the central nervous system that primarily affects older people. The loss of nerve cells in the body of the affected individuals leads to a decrease in dopamine levels. Often, this results in movement disorders. The symptoms vary but frequently include tremors, stiffness, balance problems, and a slowing down of movements. In later stages, cognitive impairments and dementia can occur.

Parkinson's disease is a chronic and progressive condition that affects approximately 0.2 percent of the global population.

Motor Symptoms

Non-motor Symptoms


Impaired sense of smell

Muscle rigidity

Nightly wakefulness due to severe sleep disturbances

Affected individuals have to move slowly, and almost every movement is painful

Depression, panic attacks, and anxiety



In the early stages of the disease, the patients' voice changes

Lack of motivation

Smiling and unconscious blinking are not uncommon

Weight loss

Maintaining balance becomes a major challenge for many patients

The body produces significantly more sweat

Unfortunately, the disease is often hidden behind inconspicuous symptoms, especially in the early stages. These symptoms develop slowly and are therefore all the more insidious.

Conventional Parkinson's Therapy

The treatment of Parkinson's disease primarily focuses on symptom relief and improving quality of life. Common therapies include medication, physical therapy, and in some cases, deep brain stimulation. The two main medications used in Parkinson's treatment are Levodopa and Carbidopa. They are intended to help the body better coordinate motor functions. Additionally, doctors often prescribe supplementary supplements.

By taking

  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin D3
  • Antioxidants such as Vitamin E, Vitamin C, CoQ10, which are intended to protect cells
  • Unsaturated omega-3 fatty acids (EPA/DHA)
  • Amino acids

patients can potentially have a more positive impact on the progression of the disease.

However, many people are looking for alternative or complementary treatment options, including natural remedies. Approximately 40 percent of Parkinson's patients in the United States use complementary and alternative medicine. The natural compound cannabidiol (CBD) can also contribute in this context. Let's take a closer look at the hemp extract.

The Role of CBD in Parkinson's

As mentioned earlier, there is growing interest in CBD for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis. It is believed to have a range of health benefits, including neuroprotective effects.

In the human body, CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system, specifically the CB1 and CB2 receptors. These receptors are distributed throughout the body and regulate important bodily functions, including motor control, mood, pain perception, and cognition. As this process affects dopamine production in the brain and protects nerve cells from dying, researchers believe it has positive effects on the chronic condition. A high level of dopamine in the body is associated with the alleviation of Parkinson's symptoms.

In Parkinson's disease, CBD may work in various ways. It can improve sleep quality, reduce tremors, and enhance overall quality of life. Additionally, it may reduce inflammation and promote the survival of nerve cells. The exact mechanisms of action for CBD are still being researched.

Furthermore, it is speculated that CBD can alleviate chronic pain[1] and potential anxiety and panic states [2] associated with Parkinson's.

Effect of CBD on Parkinson's-related Symptoms

Effects of Cannabidiol Note

Relief of sleep problems

Among other things, chronic pain and anxiety and panic attacks associated with the disease often rob patients of sleep. CBD could potentially help with this [3].

Reduction of inflammation

While there are no published studies specifically investigating the impact on inflammation in Parkinson's, researchers found in an acne study that CBD has anti-inflammatory effects [4]. They therefore assume that cannabidiol could also alleviate brain inflammation associated with Parkinson's.

Reduction of psychotic symptoms

Psychoses are often unpleasant and frequently occur as accompanying symptoms of the progressive disease. A study specifically examined CBD in the context of psychoses and found that the natural hemp extract could alleviate them [5].


The term neuroprotection refers to the attempt to preserve nerve cells and nerve fibers from dying. CBD appears to be a potent neuroprotective agent. In this role, it could support the body in this process.

Recent research suggests that CBD could have a positive impact on the progression of the disease [6].

Side Effects of CBD

Although CBD is a natural extract of the hemp plant, studies have found that it may have some side effects [7].

Potential, although rare, side effects include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Fatigue and lethargy
  • Diarrhea, vomiting, and other gastrointestinal issues
  • Changes in weight and appetite

Are there interactions with Parkinson's medications?

Interactions that can occur when consuming CBD with other medications are often presented as side effects as well.

For example, they could lead to interactions with:

  • Acid-suppressing medications
  • Anticoagulant medications
  • Analgesics
  • Antipsychotics

In these cases, users should always consult their treating physician before taking CBD.

Side effects such as dependency or psychoactive effects are not a concern with legal CBD products. The THC content in these products is below 0.2 percent.

Choosing the Right CBD Product for Parkinson's

A look at the wide range of products offered by various manufacturers demonstrates the variety of CBD products available for customers to choose from. When considering Parkinson's, fast-acting oil is particularly suitable. Additionally, the highly concentrated CBD paste is also very popular.

CBD Oil Oil offers the advantage of being able to be dropped directly under the tongue or mixed with food. Through sublingual administration under the tongue, cannabidiol takes effect almost immediately, while the stomach needs to digest the substance first.
CBD Paste The CBD paste differs primarily in concentration from other forms of administration. It typically starts at a minimum of 20 percent CBD content and can go up to 50 percent with selected manufacturers. Particularly in advanced stages of Parkinson's disease, the higher concentration could more effectively, rapidly, and efficiently alleviate the pain and other symptoms of the disease.

Aside from the two widely used products in connection with Parkinson's - CBD oil and CBD paste - patients can also consider capsules and CBD liquids for inhalation.

The application and duration of use can be individually tailored to each user's needs. CBD is used for long-term and short-term treatment as well as for acute treatment of symptoms and complaints.

Proper CBD Dosage for Parkinson's

While the CBD dosage is typically lower in early stages of the disease due to milder symptoms, it may increase in advanced stages. However, there are additional factors that can influence the ideal dosage:

  • The user's body weight
  • Individual physical characteristics and metabolism
  • The CBD content of the products (15 to 50 percent CBD is suitable for Parkinson's patients)

Although overdosing on CBD is unlikely, patients should start with approximately 70 mg of CBD per day. It is important to understand that a higher dose does not necessarily lead to better results.

Scientific Studies on the Subject

In recent years, several studies have been conducted to investigate the effects of CBD on Parkinson's. The results are promising but somewhat inconsistent and require further research. One study from 2014 found that CBD could improve the quality of life in Parkinson's patients but only at a relatively high dosage of 300 mg per day. For comparison, commercially available CBD oils typically contain between 5 and 50 mg of CBD per dose. It is important to note that this is just one study, and further research is needed to confirm these results.


In summary, there is some evidence that CBD could be a useful addition to conventional Parkinson's therapies. Although the available studies are promising, further research is necessary to fully understand the potential benefits and optimal dosage.

Although CBD cannot cure the neurodegenerative disease, it appears to alleviate the accompanying symptoms of Parkinson's and give patients a sense of improved quality of life. If you have any questions on this topic, I am happy to assist you.

Have you had any experiences with CBD in Parkinson's disease? Was our article helpful to you? Feel free to share your opinion and experiences in the comments!


[1] Darkovska-Serafimovska M et al., Pharmacotherapeutic considerations for the use of cannabinoids to relieve pain in patients with malignant diseases. 2018, J Pain Res.

[2] Cuttler C et al. A naturalistic examination of the perceived effects of cannabis on negative affect. J Affect Disord. 2018;235:198-205.

[3] Chagas MH et al., Cannabidiol can improve complex sleep-related behaviors associated with rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder in Parkinson's disease patients: a case series. 2014, J Clin Pharm Ther.

[4] Olah A et al., Cannabidiol exerts sebostatic and anti-inflammatory effects on human sebocytes. 2014, J Clin Invest, full text available here.

[5] Zuardi AW et al., Cannabidiol for the treatment of psychosis in Parkinson's disease. 2009, J Psychopharmacol.

[6] Chagas, MH et al., Effects of cannabidiol in the treatment of patients with Parkinson's disease: An exploratory double-blind trial. 2014, Journal of Psychopharmacology

[7] Kerstin Iffland and Franjo Grotenhermen: An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies. 2017, Cannabis Cannabinoid Res, full text available here.

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