This New Study Will Test CBD’s Effect on Parkinson’s Disease
In a “pioneering” clinical trial led by King’s College London, patients with Parkinson’s disease will receive cannabidiol (CBD) to treat the hallucinations and delusions associated with the disease.
Parkinson’s UK, which is investing £1.2 million in the trial, said that patients’ interest in CBD motivated the charity to investigate its benefits and efficacy.
CBD on trial
“We know from a recent survey we carried out, that people with Parkinson's would continue to use, or start using, cannabis-derived products if robust evidence became available that they are safe and effective in treating Parkinson's symptoms,” Dr Arthur Roach, director of research at Parkinson’s UK, said in a press statement.
Despite becoming legal to do so in November last year, very few cannabis medicines have been prescribed in the UK, as doctors and health bodies remain concerned over their effects.
To reduce this concern, UK health bodies have called for more randomized, controlled clinical trials to further evaluate cannabis’ medical potential.
Set to begin early next year, the Parkinson's study will start with a six-week pilot to find the optimum dose of oral CBD capsules, during which participants will take doses of up to 1,000 mg per day.
In the second stage, 120 people with Parkinson’s-related psychosis will continue with a 12-week double-blind, placebo-controlled study.
Cannabis and Parkinson's
According to the charity, there are currently 145,000 people living with Parkinson’s in the UK, and between 50 and 60 percent of them will be affected by the hallucinations and delusions associated with the disease.
These frightening symptoms are thought to be related to the standard medications used to treat Parkinson’s. If the symptoms persist, a doctor or health specialist will often alter the medication’s dosage or halt the treatment all together.
“There are many unanswered questions about the value of CBD for people with Parkinson’s, but this trial will help us to determine whether it can help with the debilitating symptoms of hallucinations and delusions,” Dr Arthur Roach continued.
“If successful, this trial could result in people with Parkinson’s being able to access a regulated medicine, rather than reverting to expensive unregulated supplements that haven’t been monitored for their effectiveness.”