CBD and Parkinson’s

We Know That Some People With Parkinson’s Have Tried CBD Oil, Or Are Interested In Learning More About Whether CBD Can Help Them With Their Symptoms. Here We Take a Closer Look.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is an active ingredient, which is found in the cannabis plant. Unlike cannabis, CBD doesn’t make people high.

Although we may think of cannabis as a single ‘drug’, it contains many drug-like chemicals that have different effects on the body.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is also found in the cannabis plant. THC mainly affects brain function. It’s thought to cause the psychoactive effects of cannabis that make a person high. Psychoactive effects can include changes in perception, mood, levels of consciousness or behaviour.

What’s the difference between CBD and cannabis?

CBD is legal. CBD oil is classed as a food supplement, and you can buy it from high street health shops. It comes from the hemp plant.

‘Industrial’ hemp is legal to grow in the UK under licence as long as it has a very low percentage of THC. The CBD oil you can buy from health shops is made from industrial hemp and doesn’t contain THC.

Cannabis, on the other hand, contains high amounts of THC and is a known psychoactive drug. It’s illegal to process, produce and supply cannabis in the UK.

We would advise people to talk to their healthcare professional before trying a CBD product as researchers aren’t sure how it may interact with Parkinson’s drugs.

Is CBD the same as cannabis-based medicines?

CBD products, such as CBD oil, are often referred to as ‘cannabis-derived’ products. These products aren’t licensed as medicines and so aren’t regulated in the same way as prescription medication. This means that their quality and content can’t be guaranteed.

Sellers shouldn’t make claims around any health benefits of these cannabis-derived products, either.

Some cannabis-based medicines (also known as ‘medical cannabis’) are now available on prescription for certain conditions, such as multiple sclerosis. But the strict criteria for prescribing mean that access is still very limited.

Cannabis-based medications aren’t available on prescription for people living with Parkinson’s. And using cannabis to help with your Parkinson’s symptoms is not seen as a valid reason in the eyes of the law.

We don’t yet have enough evidence to know whether cannabis-based medicines are safe and what the benefits may be for people with Parkinson’s.

Our thanks to Parkinson’s UK for permission to use the following source(s) in compiling this information: