Medical Marijuana For Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative neurological disease that affects one in every 500 Canadians. Though men are more likely to be diagnosed, it can affect women too and some will experience symptoms before reaching 50. Approximately 6,600 Canadians are diagnosed with it every year.
What Happens To Someone’s Body When They’re Diagnosed With Parkinson’s?
Parkinson’s is a disease that can begin over the age of 50 but is typically diagnosed in people between the ages of 60-65. It affects men more than women, though it’s not really known why yet by researchers. It could have something to do with genetics, a viral infection or environmental toxins. When someone has Parkinson’s, their brain has lost nerve cells that are in charge of sending messages to our body telling us to move. Once 80% of those cells are lost, symptoms will begin to appear.
Common Parkinson’s Symptoms
The nerves cells that are being lost control movement and produce an important chemical called dopamine and again, when the levels of cells being lost reaches about 80%, that’s when symptoms will begin to appear. And, though it’s most likely to appear between the ages of 60-65, they can begin before someone turns 50, or in rare cases, before they turn 30.
Symptoms can include:
- Difficulty swallowing or chewing
- Trouble speaking or vocal changes
- Sleeping problems – this could be because of uncontrollable movements
- Masking – this means a “blank stare” because the muscles in your face are harder to control
- Poor posture like slouching or stooping
- Loss of smell
- Handwriting changes
- Shorter attention span
- Trouble staying organized/planning
- Poor balance or lack of coordination – this can often lead to falling
- Slow movements
- Stiffness in limbs
- Tremors in hands/fingers, arms, legs/feet, or head
Symptoms usually start appearing on just one side of the body. Because this is a progressive disease, symptoms get worse over time and eventually affect both sides of the body. Though it can affect everyone at a different pace, usually within ten years someone diagnosed with Parkinson’s will have dementia or a physical disability and most likely need a wheelchair or need help with daily tasks like getting dressed, eating, etc.
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How Medical Marijuana Can Help People With Parkinson’s
When someone with Parkinson’s is prescribed medication, it’s usually a medication that increases the levels of dopamine. Dopamine can naturally increase when we experience things we like (certain foods, sex, and getting high). But, CBD oil for example, has the same effect but doesn’t get us high. When the effects kick in, it can help with pain, weakness, and improve your overall mood too.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease but medical marijuana can improve your quality of life. Say goodbye to those pharmaceutical medications that cause more unwanted side effects.