Inhaling whole-plant cannabis provides symptomatic relief in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD), according to observational trial data published in the March/April 2014 edition of the journal Clinical Neuropharmacology. Parkinson’s is a progressive disorder of the central nervous system that results in tremors, slowed movement, and muscle rigidity.
Investigators at Tel Aviv University Department of Neurology evaluated Parkinson’s disease symptoms in 22 patients at baseline, and 30-minutes after inhaling cannabis.
Researchers reported that inhaled cannabis was associated with “significant improvement after treatment in tremor, rigidity, and bradykinsea (slowness of movement). There was also significant improvement of sleep and pain scores. No significant adverse effects of the drug were observed.”
They concluded: “This observational study is the first to report an amelioration of both motor and non-motor symptoms in patients with PD treated with cannabis. The study opens new venues for treatment strategies in PD especially in patients refractory to current medications.”
Israel has formally allowed the licensed production and distribution of cannabis for therapeutic purposes since 2011.