Easing The Pain Of Parkinson's in Jurupa-Valley-California

Published Mar 06, 22
5 min read

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Studies often have limitations. Size, design, and lack of standardized formulations or dosing make it difficult to compare studies and draw conclusions. Many studies include small numbers of participants, so it’s unlikely the group represents the broad Parkinson’s population or that results apply to the majority. Few studies include a placebo group, which makes it difficult to determine how much benefit may truly be from cannabis and how much might be placebo effect.

There also is a lack of standardization. Different studies use different formulations with different amounts of THC and CBD. This makes it challenging to understand what might be doing what (why one trial fails and another shows positive results, for example) as well as what type of cannabis may work best for an individual or specific symptom.

They may be able to help you weigh the pros and cons, and they’ll have a complete picture of all your treatments (prescription or otherwise) in case there is a change in symptoms or possible drug interaction. They also can direct you to ongoing research studies, if of interest. If you are thinking about cannabis, you may want to ask your doctor: What symptoms it may help, Be clear about what symptoms you hope to treat — anxiety, sleep, pain or others.

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Might cannabis lower blood pressure and counteract the medication you take to raise blood pressure? Or could it worsen your symptoms, such as thinking changes or imbalance? Their recommendation, Some physicians are willing to incorporate cannabis into your treatment regimen; others are less comfortable. Be aware that, unfortunately, many doctors may not know details about the many available products or be able to recommend a specific product or dosing.

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Try to be open, honest and willing to hear what your doctor says. Tell them you are looking at all treatment options and want to learn if and how cannabis might help. And if you are considering or taking specific products, share which. (Bring printed information or a picture of the label.) As of April 2021, 36 states and the District of Columbia allow the use of medical cannabis.

Note that even if Parkinson’s is a condition for authorized use, there may be additional requirements, such as also having another diagnosed condition (severe pain, nausea or malnutrition, for example). Under federal law, doctors cannot prescribe cannabis. But qualified doctors (those who have completed additional training and registration) can issue "certifications" that permit patients to get a license for medical cannabis.

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(Some states maintain registries of qualified doctors that you can search online.) With a license, you can visit a dispensary, which sells cannabis products. Licenses typically don’t specify dosing or product information, so you work with the dispensary for recommendations on what may work for you. (This often is a trial-and-error process.) As the same product may vary significantly from location to location, it’s best to stick with one dispensary.

However, having a license may decrease costs and provide access to dispensaries that may be more familiar with your condition. Many doctors and researchers believe the marketing and hype of cannabis products is ahead of the science and evidence. Be wary. Many have watched videos of people with PD using marijuana and seeing all their symptoms disappear within seconds.

In general, when social media provides a level of endorsement significantly out of proportion to what you hear from your doctor, it is probably too good to be true. Researchers continue to work on defining safety for cannabis in Parkinson’s. And several studies are looking at possible benefits on specific symptoms.

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Through a recent questionnaire in MJFF’s , nearly 1,900 people with Parkinson’s shared their experiences with cannabis. In general, most people reported benefits on sleep, anxiety and pain. But some also had side effects and nearly one-third reported not discussing use with their physician. Full results are expected later in 2021.

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Fox Foundation also recently convened a workshop on this topic with field leaders and other Parkinson’s organizations. Participants examined opportunities and challenges, agreeing that much work remains to understand how patients and doctors are using and talking about these products; to build education and communication around cannabis and Parkinson’s; and to evaluate safety, potential benefits, side effects and drug interactions, as well as the optimal dosing and formulations.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation has a policy of refraining from advocating, endorsing or promoting any drug therapy, course of treatment, or specific company or institution. It is crucial that care and treatment decisions related to Parkinson's disease and any other medical condition be made in consultation with a physician or other qualified medical professional.

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