CannaTrials adheres to evidence-based medicine – making statements based on medical evidence.

This page is excerpted and quoted from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine.    A Committee of over 40 experts, researchers, and reviewers in The Health and Medicine Division published a 486 page report in 2017 entitled “The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research.
If you would like to access the entire report you may do so by clicking this link.

Medical Marijuana and Parkinson’s Disease

“Parkinson’s disease is a motor system disorder attributed to the loss of dopamine-producing brain cells. It is characterized clinically by tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia (slowness of movement), and impaired balance and coordination (PDF, 2016a). An estimated 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with this disorder each year (PDF, 2016b).

Although the disease is progressive and without cure, there are medications that can ameliorate some of the associated symptoms. Although levodopa has demonstrated efficacy for treating symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, long-term use of levodopa is associated with the development of side effects, especially dyskinesias (involuntary movements) (NINDS, 2015). Evidence suggests that the endocannabinoid system plays a meaningful role in certain neurodegenerative processes (Krishnan et al., 2009); thus, it may be useful to determine the efficacy of cannabinoids in treating the symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases.

Small trials of oral cannabinoid preparations have demonstrated no benefit compared to a placebo in ameliorating the side effects of Parkinson’s disease. A seven-patient trial of nabilone suggested that it improved the dyskinesia associated with levodopa therapy, but the sample size limits the interpretation of the data. An observational study of inhaled cannabis demonstrated improved outcomes, but the lack of a control group and the small sample size are limitations.

CONCLUSION 4-11 There is insufficient evidence that cannabinoids are an effective treatment for the motor system symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease or the levodopainduced dyskinesia. [1]

[1] The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research | The National Academies Press. 2017. Pages 108-110. Download the complete 486 page report.

**Important Note:  On many of the health conditions studied by NAS, there was no conclusive evidence of cannabis effectiveness from the study results they reviewed.  The authors included a long section on “research gaps.

It is the Vision and Mission of CannaTrials to fill in some of these research gaps with cannabis clinical trials using specific medical marijuana formulations and testing them in a research protocol with local patients, physicians, processors and dispensaries.  If you are interested in participating in a clinical trial, and helping improve scientific knowledge about health effects of cannabis, please click one of the buttons below on this page.

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